PACHU MENON, Margao
PEOPLE showing their gratitude and showering praises on Dr Edwin Gomes, the doctor at the forefront leading Goa’s battle against COVID, when he returned home after 98 days of duty at the ESI hospital in Margao is a natural response from the public towards a person who has stood appreciably against the might of the potent virus to do the best he can to save as many lives as he could given the current circumstances. Affectionate gestures proffered to Dr Ira Almeida would also suggest the same feelings among the public. For that matter, the need to applaud the selfless efforts of the medical fraternity and those associated with it for their dedicated service during the pandemic should not be seen as a mere formality. Superheroes in their own rights, each and every COVID warrior is deserving of the public adulation that has come their way in the wake of the pandemic. Philanthropic interests have also driven many corporates and other charitable organisations in Goa to contribute towards the state’s endeavour to contain the surge of the disease. Yet, the mortal fear that has the populace in a vice-like grip is evidently having a debilitating effect as the state reports a spike in positive cases with every passing day. At a time when high-profile patients are succumbing to the virulent effects of the disease, an average Goan has every reason to feel despondent. Left to ponder over his fate where he to fall prey to the infection, the common man is driven to despair. However, utterances by prominent personalities about the sorry state of affairs of the COVID care centres and hospitals in the state at this stage will only add to the apprehensive mood prevalent in Goa over the disease. It is nevertheless praiseworthy that with the limited resources at its disposal, the state has managed exceeding well in its fight against the pandemic. If reports of the recent swell in infections have been worrying, the rate of recovery on the other hand has undoubtedly been encouraging. Amidst the atmosphere of dread that has set in, news about vaccines being developed to counter the virus effects does give the harried public something to rejoice about. Plans afoot to start plasma bank in the state to provide plasma treatment to critically-ill COVID patients is also reassuring.