Dubai: Inspired by the spirit of giving back to society, an Indian dental surgeon couple in Dubai have closed down their private practice to volunteer full time at an isolation and quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients.
Moved by the rising number of cases and the requirement for medical professionals in the battle against COVID-19, Indian expatriate couple - Dr Mohmmad Faiz, 40 from Pallakad and his wife Dr Fatima Siddiqi from Mallapuram both districts in the state of Kerala, India, decided to step out of their comfort zone, rise to the occasion and offer their voluntary services.
Speaking Gulf News, Dr Faiz, who holds a degree in dental surgery from the UK, said: “It was more my wife’s idea and she felt we ought to do something and help all those in need. As human beings, it is our first instinct to protect ourselves and loved ones from exposure. But as doctors, we know we have to offer our services to help the community at a time like this. This was something we both felt very keenly. So on April 15, we signed up as volunteers under the aegis of the Indian Consulate who extended a lot of help and guidance to us,” he explained.
Trained by various health care professionals, the couple plunged into their new role. Dr Faiz said it has been a relentless effort, yet deeply satisfying to both of them. “It has been exactly 10 days and it feels as though it has been a month.”
Both Dr Faiz and Dr Siddiqui do separate 12-hour shifts and the couple do not meet at the hospital at all.
Donning complete Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and depending on the morning or evening shift, they attend to patients. “We cater to patients who report sick and we are their first line of medical staff. We handle patients who come in, take their medical histories, do the initial examination and check vital parameters before they are admitted to the facility. If I am assigned the morning shift, my wife is in the evening shift. We are on alternative rotas and get four days off after working four days. It is only then we are able to meet each other,” explained Dr Faiz.
Kids with the grandparents
In the last one week, both Dr Faiz and Dr Siddiqui, proud parents of three kids aged, 10, nine and three have not met their kids.
“Our children are with my wife’s parents here in Dubai and we haven’t been to visit them or her parents because we do not want to put any of them at risk. We will only be able to see them once we complete this duty and also complete a 14-day quarantine,” said Dr Faiz.
The couple who are determined to fight this battle from the frontline speak to their loved ones on video chats and phone calls during their off days.
Dr Faiz added: “we are 100 per cent dedicated and determined to fight this battle to the very end. Some days are tough, but it is moving to see the dedication of everyone – nurses, paramedics, doctors, lab technicians and volunteers - who are working so hard. On good days, we see so many patients testing negative and the look of joy and relief on their faces makes us feel our efforts are not going futile. When all this gets over in a few months and we return to our family, I am sure we will be able to explain to our children why it was important for both of us to offer our services in an unprecedented crisis like this.”