Javed Yousuf was one of the few health workers who received COVID19 vaccine shot at District Hospital Shopian on Tuesday.
“Resisting vaccination won’t help. If we want to see an end of COVID19, we have to come forward leaving behind the misgivings about the vaccine,” Yousuf said after receiving the vaccine.
A total of 100 health workers were supposed to be inoculated against COVID19 on Tuesday but only nine showed up.
Yousuf, a data entry operator at the facility, worked as a frontline health worker in the summer of 2020 when the district witnessed an upswing in COVID19 cases.
“Sometimes we would receive more than 100 positive cases. It seemed as if things were spiraling out of control,” he said.
From contact tracing to maintaining the COVID19 ward, Yousuf played a crucial role.
Putting on his PPE suit every morning, he would visit the COVID19 ward to see if all patients admitted there were fine.
“More than medical care, the patients needed counseling,” Yousuf said.
As the COVID19 cases kept increasing in May and June, he stopped visiting home and worked round-the-clock.
“I saw my family after 2 months and hugged my four-year-old son after six months,” he said.
The 35-year old health worker also used to answer the multiple distress calls both on helpline set up by the hospital authorities as well as on his personal mobile.
“Panic had spread through the entire area. People were feeling helpless, particularly after the area began reporting COVID19 deaths,” Yousuf said.
The district with a population of 2.6 lakh population witnessed 39 COVID19 deaths and recorded 2553 positive cases. However, on January 19, 2021, there were only 35 active cases.
Yousuf also played a role in encouraging people to go for COVID19 testing.
“There were people who did not want to take a COVID19 test after they were trapped outside the Valley. We used to convince them about how the testing could stop the further spread of virus,” he said. “The district never saw a decline in testing.”
Yousuf said after getting the COVID19 vaccine, he was elated and hoped life would be normal soon.