Voices from the Covid Battlefield  – Episode One

In this series of interviews, Covid Response Watch brings you the voices of doctors, health workers, social activists and others, working at the grassroots, speaking about the multiple impacts of the Covid pandemic on the lives of ordinary Indian citizens.

Some aspects of the Covid disaster are new and unprecedented but many of them are also a continuation of the crisis that existed well before the pandemic hit Indian shores. And the crisis is not just on the medical front but perhaps even more so on the social, economic, political and even  cultural fronts.

COVID Response Watch LogoWe talk to Dr Gajanan Phutke, a family medicine doctor working at the Jan Swasthya Sahyog (JSS) in Ganiyari, Chhattisgarh for over six years. JSS is a non-profit, registered society of health professionals running  low-cost health services for the past 15 years in the tribal and rural areas of Chhattisgarh. It operates through a community health program and a rural health centre, which includes a hospital.

Here Dr Phutke tells us about his experience of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and  the insights gained. Among other things, he speaks of fear and stigma; snakebite deaths at poorly constructed quarantine centers; neglect of non-Covid patients;  high cost of treatment; reasons for vaccine hesitancy and the JSS’s own work of preparing people to deal with the pandemic. This interview is in English.


Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal to the author and not necessarily match with that of the organization the author is affiliated with



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