‘Can’t sit back & watch corona virus spread’

The door-to-door Covid-19 screening started by the state government on the lines of the pulse polio drive may have been lauded by all, but it could not have been successful without the involvement of frontline health workers. Even health department principal secretary Sanjay Kumar appreciated their efforts and called them the ‘Covid-19 warriors of Bihar’. One such “warrior” is Barun Kumar, a data entry operator at the Bind Primary Health Centre (PHC) in Nalanda. At present, he heads a team of two Anganwadi and two Asha workers and has covered altogether 930 households so far. The 28-year-old told TOI, “We set off early and conduct door-to-door screening from 7am to 1:30pm. If we come across a suspected patient, we get in touch with our PHC immediately.” Asked if he and his team are afraid of visiting different houses at a tough time like this, a confident Barun replied, “We have to continue our fight against coronavirus. We cannot sit back and let it spread its tentacles. Our family members are definitely worried, but we take all necessary precautions from covering our mouths with masks to washing our hands regularly.” Sharing the problems frontline health workers face during screening, Barun said, “There are some who do not reveal their travel history because they do not want to be quarantined. We talk them out of hiding information, make them comfortable and convince them to get themselves tested.” Barun, who is aware of the risks involved while working, ensures that he stays away from his family members after returning to his house in Tajnipur village. He said, “I live with my parents and make sure that they are safe.”