New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday heaped praise on the doctors and paramedics associated with the Wuhan evacuation operation, while handing over a letter of appreciation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the team members.

Amongst the officials who were felicitated by the Union Minister were Dr Anand Vishal (Associate Professor of medicine), Dr Pulin Gupta, (Professor of internal medicine), Dr Sanjeet Panesar,(Associate Professor, community medicine), Ajo Jose, (Nursing Officer) and Sarath Prem, (Nursing Officer) — all from Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital.

From Safdarjung Hospital, Dr Yogesh Chandra Porwal (Professor and consultant internal medicine), Dr Rupali Malik (Associate Professor, internal medicine), Manu Joseph (nursing officer), Rajnish Kumar, (nursing officer) and Dr Sujata Arya, (Public Health specialist) from the Airport Health Organisation, Delhi, were among the team members to be felicitated.

Harsh Vardhan also appreciated the commitment to duty shown by the doctors and paramedics and said, “I want to congratulate all the doctors and nursing staff. This particular trip was a hyped one, otherwise health workers always get exposed to danger.

“Doctors, nursing staff and other paramedical staff are always vulnerable to risks in their lives. You people take more precautions when there is hype, but otherwise also, you keep working in serious professional hazards. Coronavirus is a matter of discussion in the entire world right now but we all know that people who work in hospitals especially in departments like Hepatitis B they are always exposed to danger of infection. Therefore we are really proud of you.”

The Health Minister added, “I also want to thank the Prime Minister on behalf of you all and my department that he formally appreciated your efforts in the cabinet meeting. He not only appreciated but mentioned it in his official speech.”

The two flights enabled India to evacuate around 650 Indians who were stranded in Wuhan.

The government also evacuated seven Maldivians.

The special flights were operated using a double decker jumbo 747 with 15 cabin crew and five cockpit crew.

Besides, the crew, the flight also ferried a team of five doctors from the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and one paramedical staff from Air India.

The new virus, which is of the same genre as SARS which broke out in 2003 but has spread at a much faster rate, was first reported in the WHO Disease Outbreak news on January 5. It has progressively spread across many countries from its epicentre in China.

In a bid to curb the spread of the virus, Chinese authorities have closed transportation services in many parts of the country, including Wuhan, the hub of transport and industry in central China.




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