Yamunadevi Ramanathan Sr., DA, MD, CIC

Location: India

Title: Infection Prevention & Control Professional

Company/Organization: Apollo Hospitals, Chennai

First Certified: January 2020


On December 31st China alerted WHO on a cluster of cases of pneumonia due to unknown cause detected in Wuhan city, Hubei province of China. But the first case of Covid 19 in India was confirmed on January 30, 2020, a 20 year old female from Thrissur, Kerala who had a travelled to China. That was the day when the thought struck our minds “Distance shouldn’t matter because at the end of the day we are all under the same sky’’.

Right from that moment the infection control team recognized their responsibilities and challenges which would be laid on their shoulders right from policy amendments, usage & utility of PPE, infrastructure development, environmental disinfection policy and communication among health care workers, public health authorities, families and many more to come. In a lighter way not only the responsibility but also the accountability

The entire world was learning every day new aspects of this Virus. Right from the structure, pathogenesis, clinical features, diagnosis, management, prevention, facts and of course myths too. The media also had a major role in propagating this virus which helped people outside health care personnel to use terms which were restricted only to health care professionals. So we had to keep ourselves updated all the time at the behest of apprehension from reliable resources.

Handouts were rolled, distributed and training initiated but the very next moment we had to change our version because of the evolving nature of the pandemic. Even our fellow colleagues would make fun of us by saying, “Change is the law of life and Corona is change of policy”.

Scarcity of quality PPE, hand rubs, disinfectants and other consumables pushed us to evaluate, validate alternative products at the mercy of supply and satisfaction. Again drills, training, auditing the usage of new products to avoid confusion among fellow members were conducted. The whole exercise had to be predicted and completed within few days. We learned to think out of the box to create safe, flexible infrastructure to accommodate both Covid and non Covid patients. This whole exercise definitely had an emotional impact on all of us which we embraced by supporting each other.

As truly said by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam; “Difficulties in your life do not come to destroy you, but to realize your hidden potential and power, let difficulties know that you too are difficult.”

We learnt our lessons and have metamorphosed to better humans.