New Delhi, Jan 25, 2021-
In a sigh of relief, the first frontline healthcare worker in the national capital to suffer due to the coronavirus pandemic in March beamed with joy after receiving the first shot of Covishield vaccine on Monday.
On March 12, Gopal Jha, deployed at a Mohalla clinic in east Delhi, had contracted the virus after an infected woman with travel history to Saudi Arabia visited him at the clinic, resulting in a two-week long misery for him.
“The person I got the infection from was the 10th Covid-19 case in India. I was the first among the doctors in Delhi to get infected. After getting vaccinated today at the Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital, I feel elated. My family is also relieved,” Jha told.
His wife Alpana Jha, who works at a Mohalla clinic in the Jaffarabad area, has also been inoculated. She got infected at the same time in March along with their daughter.
The 51-year-old doctor said he received the Covishield vaccine and did not feel any side-effects after taking it. “I would request everyone to take the vaccine and not feel hesitant,” he said.
Jha said he would also insist his 87-year-old mother with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease to take the jab whenever her turn comes. “Vaccines are safe, there is no need to worry,” he said.
The Union Health Ministry has reiterated that people may have minor side-effects such as fever, pain, headache, vomiting, nausea, etc. after receiving the vaccine shot.
“It is normal to have minor side-effects,” Jha added.
He recalled how he contracted the virus on March 12, 2020. “A woman came to the clinic with complains of difficulty in breathing, cough and fever. As soon as she said that she had returned from Saudi Arabia, I gave her a mask and wore an N95 mask myself.”
The doctor said, “My chief district medical officer later called up to inform me that the patient had tested positive for coronavirus.” Hearing this, Jha went to the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital for a check-up. His family also gave their samples for testing.
“I turned pale when I heard that my wife and daughter had also tested positive. But thankfully my son and 85-year-old mother tested negative. My daughter and wife were asymptomatic and were admitted to the GTB isolation ward,” he added.
On March 18, he too was admitted to the GTB Hospital. “On March 18, I started showing symptoms of Covid-19 and my report came positive two days later. On March 23, I was admitted to the ICU as I developed severe breathing difficulty and loose motion. I was put on oxygen.
“On April 5, I came to know that my last two Covid-19 reports were negative. Finally I was discharged from the hospital. My mother was the happiest person the day I came back home from the hospital. I wanted to hug my son but I restrained myself,” Jha reminisced. (Agency)