His Appeal Drew Lot of Applause, But What Bengaluru Doc Needs is More Doctors


Dr. Taha Mateen

Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India


Two days after his earnest appeal to his fraternity for more hands to deal with growing cases of Coronovirus went viral, Dr Taha Mateen, the doctor from Bengaluru, remained dejected man. His grouse is that though his emotionally-charged appeal earned him lot of goodwill, “very few doctors have responded and appealed that more doctors should turn up to volunteer at hospitals”.

Speaking exclusively with Clarion India in a Telephonic conversation, Dr Mateen, managing director of HBS Hospital, Shivaji Nagar said, “some responses [from doctors] have been fantastic, but it’s inadequate [in terms of number].” Quite a few of the respondents expressed their willingness to join him but he needs more doctors, he rued.

In the video that went viral on Sunday, he appealed to health professionals, particularly doctors and nurses, to come forward and offer their services in the wake of mounting cases of coronavirus. “I have beds, I have oxygen, I have ventilators, I have all the equipment. I have another 30 beds like this, but I don’t have doctors working here,” he said in the video shot inside the hospital’s ICU.

He said ever since the video was put out, the hospital is receiving calls from people who complain of symptoms of coronavirus but their status is unknown. “People are continuing to call and they do not have places where they can go.”

Dr Taha Mateen

Dr Mateen said he was concerned about the patients who complain of breathlessness. “Those who have low oxygen levels cannot sit at home. I am more concerned about those. They don’t even know their covid status.”

According to the guidelines issued by the Karnataka government, asymptomatic covid-19 patients and those with mild symptoms of the viral infection are allowed to remain in self-isolation at home. They do not need any treatment but since they can transfer the infection, they are advised to wear N-95 masks.

According to the data available with the public, coronavirus has infected over 25,000 people in the southern state. More than 400 people have died of this virus. Yesterday, India surpassed Russia by crossing the seven-lakh mark. It has become the country with the third highest cases of the coronavirus, a pandemic which has put a large part of the world under lockdown.

Earlier, Karnataka was being presented as a model state alongside Kerala on how to tackle the crisis arising from the outbreak, but no longer so. In the last few days, the states saw sharp surge as reportedly, there has been an increase of over 1,500 new cases daily.

When asked whether he was approached by the authorities after his video went viral, Dr Mateen said:  “I am told there was one phone call yesterday to the reception, but that call did not come again.”

But this is not something he is bothered about. He has faith in his work. “I do not want anything from the government. I want cooperation from people. We all are part of a society. The government too is part of us,” He wants that the “blame-game” should stop forthwith. “Let you and I see what we can do. That’s the attitude we need to have.”

He appealed to families that if they have a doctor with an MBBS or a trained paramedic at home, send them to work. “If there are 100 doctors, I can accommodate all of them at my hospital,” he assured and concluded on a note of optimism. “Let them think over this and come forward to serve the society.”


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