First death of a health worker in Sikkim due to COVID-19
Gangtok, September 18: A 49-year-old Assistant Nursing Superintendent (ANS) from STNM Hospital was recorded to be the first health worker casualty due to COVID-19. Frontline workers are one of the most respected people of late, not just because of the selfless acts of service they are indulged in but because of the fearless manner of how they literally lay their lives on the line of duty. The ANS is no less than a martyr, rightly so, as Sikkimese people have deemed her to be. The woman, reported to have mostly worked in emergency wards expired on Friday morning due to coronavirus but had co-morbidities of hypertension. She was admitted to STNM a couple of weeks ago and was on life-support.
The ANS, reported to be from Daragaon, Tadong was relieved of her COVID duties on September 15th after being at the Hospital for almost two weeks for her duties, thereafter she was on home isolation. She was brought to the hospital on the evening of Wednesday. It was reported that her BP, pulse, and sugar levels were alarmingly low and was put on life support since Thursday following which she breathed her last at 2:30 AM on Friday morning.
DG cum Health Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Dr. Pempa T Bhutia speaking to Sikkim Chronicle said, “It is a huge loss for the Health Department. She did her COVID duties in August and today she breathed her last breath. We do not want any of our health workers to pay with their lives and it is a huge loss. We know that everyone is working very hard for the department, and I hope that our department workers don’t get discouraged due to this and keep working for the welfare of the people. I want to tell everybody to put their safety first before treating patients, we have all the protective gear needed and we should be heeding to our protection.”
Dr. Pempa added, “I met her husband earlier and I have paid my respects and I have assured that they get the insurance of national ruling and also see if there would be some from the state government. It is a huge loss and a tragedy for us.”
The healthcare worker's last rites were conducted on Friday itself, and many of her colleagues at STNM Hospital, Sochayghang paid their last respects to her with 'khadas' at the hospital premises, before her body was taken by the Gangtok Municipal Corporation's (GMC) hearse to conduct her last rites.
One colleague while to speaking to Sikkim Chronicle said, "We are deeply saddedned by the news of the passing of our colleague, she was a very hard-working and committed to her work person and always a joy to be around. Even though she had already finished her first round of COVID-19 duties, she still came back to work. In memory of her, we will not let this disheratedn us and we will continue to serve. I hope this also serves as a lesson to our Sikkimese public, that one doesn't always have to be old and had co-mordities beforehand to die of COVID-19."