Stories from the Front Line - Dilli Nepali, Ambulance Driver, Bayalpata Hospital
My name is Dilli Nepali. I am the ambulance driver of Bayalpata Hospital, in Achham. It has been 11 years since I started providing ambulance service from this hospital.
The world is terrified due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic outbreak and we are all doing what we can to reduce the problem and help those at risk. While the government has issued the lockdown process to prevent the virus from spreading, I am collecting the swabs of the patients suspected of having Covid-19 and transporting them from Bayalpata Hospital to the Seti Hospital in Dhangadi, which is currently the only Covid-19 testing lab in Far West province. I have no objection carrying swabs of suspected people from our hospital to the testing center in Dhangadi. I am happy to be able to do this because if they are diagnosed with Covid-19, they can get proper care sooner and it will help to prevent the spread of pandemic of the coronavirus. And when they test negative, it relieves them of the stress and anxiety. Thankfully all tests to date have come back negative.
During this lockdown period, traveling from one place to another is a risky job. It is sad to see the streets and markets empty at this time but we know it is necessary. I like to pray to God that the current situation will return to normal soon.
Sometimes, I worry about getting infected when I am traveling with a patient. At times I feel like I wish I did not have to drive the ambulance, but because I am taking every precaution possible, I know there is nothing to be afraid of. I do not have direct contact with the patients. I have maintained a social distance of 2 meters. I am safe inside the ambulance where the door, as well as the windows, are closed and I wear a mask and gloves.
I was a little anxious when I had to transport a person who tested positive through a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kit from Bannigadhi Jayagarh Municipality to Bayalpata Hospital. But with all the precautions we had taken, I was at peace. When the PCR report came back negative, we were all very relieved.
Lastly, I would like to say, don't be afraid of the coronavirus. Be safe and take caution for yourself and your family and relatives to prevent this infection.