By the end of March, Anand (name changed) would have completed his graduation in medicine (MBBS). But in the middle of the month, he and his batchmates at Thanjavur Medical College Hospital in Tamil Nadu received a message that thrust them into the frontline of a crisis.
“We were told that we will be on a month-long duty till April 28 in the COVID-19 ward,” he says.
The novel coronavirus — that appeared in Wuhan, China, at the beginning of December 2019 — had spread globally by then. In India—with an under-resourced healthcare system — at least 250 million of the 1.33 billion population were predicted to be affected.
Even as containment measures began in some states and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was set to announce a 21-day nationwide lockdown, all hands were needed on the deck to deal with the outbreak.
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