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Covid Warrior: Meet Pharmacist Irshad working without availing a single leave in past 1 year

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Ground report | Srinagar: Covid Warrior, Irshad Ahmed Zargar, working as a Pharmacist who has not availed even a single leave in the past one year working in Community Health Centre, Batote. For the past about one year, he has been dedicatedly sampling the people for Covid in hospital or at quarantine centres, Covid Health Care Centres and in public places. “Though I am extremely prone to risk of contracting Corona infection, but till now I am safe with the grace and mercy of Allah,” said Irshad.

In the hospital, his day routine starts with donning of PPE kit at 10 AM in morning. Ding Covid sampling-RAT or RTPCR, in between hopping from Operation Theater and emergency ward to assist the doctor in dealing the emergency cases. Till he puts it off in evening. Then he arranges the samples, code, tag and pack them systematically and cautiously. On an average he collects about 100 samples and a maximum of 200 samples daily alongwith his team.

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Known for his affable, polite, compassionate and helpful nature. He is seen writing his own cell phone number in the record for every illiterate or poor person. Who doesn’t either have his or her cell phone or remembers its number as it is mandatory to record it. Besides the Aadhar Card number he can convey them the result of the test.

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Hardly any day passes when he doesn’t have to visit a patient in the neighbourhood or village  for dressing, injection, drip etc. Before going to duty and after returning from hospital as well, free of cost. “This entire (work load) becomes very hectic and exhausting as not only my bosses. But locals too have always high expectations from me since I am a local and known to everybody here” he said.  

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“ After the demise of my father in 2017 and mother in 2019 my domestic responsibilities have increased and often my family and social responsibilities get badly neglected,” said Irshad.

Recalling an incident, he said that last year in the 3rd week of May when one day he had to go to Dhalwas Quarantine Centre for sampling. The travellers who were brought there and had to stand under the blazing sun in the PPE kit for whole day while on Ramadan fasting (Roza). He was about to collapse in the evening due to dehydration but still he didn’t break his fast (Roza). 

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