Proving their mettle in these testing times of the Covid-19, women have been in the forefront in the fight against the pandemic. As homemakers they have managed to keep the family together in these distressing times; as healthcare workers they have attended to patients without caring for their lives; and as Anganwadi and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife, they have curbed and checked the spread of Coronavirus in rural areas.
Recently, women loco pilots also piloted the Oxygen Express to bring in the much needed gas to the Corona infected patients in the country. And now there is another stellar example in Surat where a women run Covid Centre has now become one of the most efficient laboratories in testing the virus.
What makes their efforts worth commending is the fact that besides looking after themselves and their families, these hardworking people are working for the country and its citizens.
This is the team of the Microbiology Department at the Government Medical College (GMC) in Surat that conducts RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) testing of New Civil Hospital (NCH) and also of those samples collected from outside as well.
They are all a team of 80 women, all dressed in personal protective equipment kits and working 24x7, in their immense contribution of testing people for Covid-19.
Remarkably, the scientists working in the lab are all women and in fact 80 of the 90 people in the centre are women.
The centre has the privilege of being the first laboratory in the region and one of the three in Gujarat that was started with the onset of Covid-19 induced pandemic. Even today, the centre is handling 1,000 tests per day.
Working since March 2020 the team so far has done 2.75 lakh tests, even when 10 of their female staff members had got infected while working, and interestingly, they too resumed work immediately, on recovering from their Covid bout.
Sharing details with nyoooz.com Pooja Patel, a Research Scientist at the laboratory said: “During peak we used to receive 3,000 samples daily. But we managed it with better coordination and worked as a team. We will continue our efforts.”
Joining her, Monika Patel, another Research Assistant added: “The work was divided into teams and our families supported us in tough times. Many staff members worked long hours to support each other.”
In the first wave last year, the team conducted 1.39 lakh tests and now in the second wave of this year, the team has conducted 1.36 lakh tests.
Giving reason for running the lab 24 hours, Dr. Neeta Khandelwal, Professor and Nodal Officer for Covid testing lab, NCH said: “We cannot close the laboratory since we receive many samples in the evening. We conduct the tests during the night and deliver the reports the next morning.”
Talking about the hardships of its team, Dr. Summaiya Mullan, Head of the Microbiology Department, GMC said: “Many of our team members have kids. But they have not taken leave. They have continued work while taking all the precautions to keep their families safe from infection.”