Speaking about the cataclysmic transformations the humans faced due to the pandemic, eminent cardiac surgeon Dr Devi Prasad Shetty said the term BC, (Before Christ) will have a new meaning after 100 years. “It will be known as Before Covid.”
The Padma Bhushan awardee surgeon said the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the world and lifestyle of the people.
He said this on Wednesday at the launch of a coffee table book Assam’s War On COVID- How Team Himanta Beat the Pandemic. Journalist Wasbir Hussain is the author of the book.
Dr Shetty, chairman and founder of Narayana Health runs a chain of medical centers in India, said the the virus caught the entire world off guard. No one including doctors and experts had any clue to how to control it.
“When the virus first broke out in China the world was completely in the dark and there was credible information available. But when Covid-19 hit Italy the world was shattered and the one nation which emerged to tackle the virus boldly was India. India took lessons from Italy and prepared itself to deal with Covid-19.”
He said that India’s readiness was possible due to the dynamic political leadership of Narendra Modi.
Dr Shetty said even though the world media strongly criticized several decisions of the Indian government on dealing with the virus the country did not have to regret these. For example, the imposition of the countrywide lockdown was sharply criticized by the world media but it eventually helped the Indian healthcare system to prepare itself to tackle Covid-19 effectively.
Dr Shetty said besides having dynamic leadership at the center a state like Assam could effectively tackle the virus due to bold, fast, sharp, innovative measures taken by then Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Shetty termed Assam’s War On COVID- How Team Himanta Beat the Pandemic not just a coffee table book but a book highlighting the true qualities of a leader in facing a disaster.
Wasbir Hussain said he was also one of the victims of the first wave of Covid-19 that hit Assam in 2020. Even though Hussain was scared initially, he became relaxed after being admitted to the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital for treatment.
“When I was fighting the virus at GMCH I was amazed to witness the zeal, sacrifice, and dedication of doctors under the able guidance of then health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. They came up with all innovative ideas to beat the pandemic,” Hussain said.
Being a journalist Hussain is instinctively observant. He said it was remarkable to see the level of teamwork, dedication, and sincerity of the team-Sarma during the pandemic. He said Himanta Biswa Sarma’s teamwork motivated Hussain to pen the coffee table book.
Additional Chief Secretary Samir Kumar Sinha, the principal secretary of health during the pandemic, recalled how the team Himanta Biswa Sarma fought the battle around the clock.