Friends turn Corona warriors to help struggling patients

Updated: 15 August, 2020 07:42 IST | Shirish Vaktania | Mumbai

As hospitals struggled to cope with overwhelming number of COVID-19 patients two months ago, 10 cyclists united to provide treatment at home

The friends have helped patients across Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Palghar. Pics/Hanif Patel
The friends have helped patients across Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Palghar. Pics/Hanif Patel

Two months back, when Mumbai and some of the worst-affected neighbouring districts were struggling with lack of beds and equipment at the dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, a group of 10 friends took it upon themselves to provide free-of-cost medical care to the patients left in the lurch. They ended up helping more than 800 people across Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Palghar.

Brought together by their common passion -- cycling, the friends from Virar learnt about the struggles of several COVID-19 patients, and decided to help as many as possible by providing home care. Though only two of them are from the health care sector, others learnt the basics of medical care.

Arranged meds, equipment
"Two months back we learnt that people were not getting beds in hospitals, and those who could avail treatment were receiving huge bills. One day, while discussing the novel Coronavirus and the situation, we decided to help people," doctor Nitin Thorve, 49, told mid-day.

Nitin Thorve, doctor, Virar
Nitin Thorve, doctor, Virar

Nitin works with his daughter, MBBS student Abhilasha Thorve, 20, and his friends — Chartered Accountant Ashutosh Joshi, 54, construction developer Amol Thakur, 43, engineer Sushant Zagde, 35, advocate Suhas Patil, 42, graphic designer Nilesh Ved, 45, marketing manager Sonal Chaudhri, 48, accountant Tejal Jaykar, 35, and hotel management professional Siddhesh Patil, 32.

The treatment
Explaining how the team works, Nitin said, “When our friends or relatives inform us about symptoms related to COVID-19, we conduct a blood test. We then ask the patients to purchase an oxygen meter and thermometer to take readings at home every three hours."

"If the oxygen level drops below 90, one of us immediately delivers an oxygen cylinder. We use PPE kits, mask and sanitiser during the treatment. We have treated more than 800 patients and they have all recovered," he added.

Noted medical history
Joshi said, "Our aim is to give treatment to the needy people. Home treatment is possible and saves people's lives and their expenses. I was regularly in touch with around 85 COVID-19 patients. We also record their medical history for better treatment." Amol Thakur said Nitin taught him how to administer an injection in case there's an emergency. "We are continuing to help anyone in need. I have four oxygen cylinders at home which I use for the patients requiring home treatment.”

Advocate Patil added that they spread the word among their friends and family, and on social media. "With Nitin's help, we have helped over 800 people across Thane, Navi Mumbai, Palghar and Mumbai."

Approx. no. of patients they have helped

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First Published: 15 August, 2020 07:40 IST

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