Written by Astha Saxena
| New Delhi |

October 25, 2020 1:05:49 am

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain

Despite active cases declining in many states, the National Capital Region is now witnessing the third phase of rise in Covid-19 cases. In the past week, daily detections have once again been over 3,000, and rising. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, 56, who tested positive for Covid-19 in June, admits the situation is a challenge, and says he has been hitting the ground daily to check the spread of the virus.

What precautions are you taking?

I have been directly working with doctors, medical staff, and authorities dealing with Covid-19 on the ground. So, I always wear a mask and carry a hand sanitiser while stepping out for work. Initially, there was a lot of scare about the disease among healthcare workers. I had to visit hospitals on a regular basis to boost their morale.

Have you got tested for Covid-19?

Many times. Before I tested positive for Covid-19, I took the test twice. Both times it was negative… On the day I was admitted to the hospital, I had severe headache. I checked my oxygen level… It was 90, and left me alarmed. When I called up the doctors, they told me to reach the hospital immediately. Once I was at the hospital, I didn’t feel scared. I never lost my will power and continued with a positive mind frame.

Did you have to isolate yourself?

I was in isolation for a week. Cases in Delhi were then (in June) on the rise, and so I was actively involved in work. I would have virtual meetings with my team on a daily basis. After getting discharged from hospital, I have been doing yoga regularly. It helped me overcome the breathing issues that I had even after testing negative.

What kind of gloves, mask do you use?

I have been using cloth masks since the very beginning. These masks are washable… Wearing mask has become part of our lives. I wear it in all meetings and visits to hospitals.

At work, what precautions do you take?

Carrying a hand sanitiser and wearing a mask is mandatory for anyone who visits my office. Being the state health minister, I cannot avoid meeting the general public and heads of medical institutions.

Have you had to stay away from family?

Yes. When I tested positive, I had to be hospitalised for 12 days and stayed away from my family for that period.

Do you take any specific precautions while you travel?

I have avoided travel since the pandemic broke out.

How much time do you spend in front of a screen?

I never spend much time on my phone anyway, and during the pandemic, I used it even less. For news too, I always read the newspaper.

How do you keep your mind off the pandemic?

At home, we don’t discuss the pandemic. Once I am out of office, I try to avoid having any conversation linked to Covid-19.

What is the first thing you want to do when the pandemic is past?

I would want to take a break for three- four days and go for a short trip with family.

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