Dr Atul Srivastava's mother had passed away on April 30th, 2021. Over 300 COVID-19 test reports lay on his desk, awaiting his perusal. The microbiologist at Muzaffarnagar Medical College, Uttar Pradesh attended his mother's funeral for two hours, cremated her, and returned to the laboratory which he had diligently developed for over the year.
Srivastava worked for 20 hours a day, testing over 20,000 samples without a single day's leave, at the hospital's diagnostic laboratory since April last year.
On Friday, August 13, the hospital formally inaugurated the lab in reverence of the doctor by naming the laboratory, 'Smt Jai Shri Sinha Diagnostic and Research Laboratory', after his mother.
"For me, this is dedicated to all frontline warriors who went down fighting the disease and saving lives," Srivastava, 40, told The Times of India.
An MBBS from Lala Lajpat Rai Memorial Medical College in Meerut, he did his microbiology postgraduation from Christian Medical College in Ludhiana before joining the Muzaffarnagar Medical College's microbiology department in April 2016.
Setting The Lab
The doctor shared that his team had to work round the clock to set up the lab. In the absence of advanced technical know-how, he depended on his education, instincts, and literature from the internet. He coordinated with equipment manufacturers, learned about things, and was able to establish an 18-room lab.
In October, the Indian Council of Medical Research allowed the lab to start conducting tests. Since then, he has tested 20,662 samples.
But in April this year, when the second wave of infections swept across the nation, his family, all of them, fell sick.
"His mother, father, brother, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and uncle passed away. But he showed commendable professional commitment said Prof GS Manchanda, principal of the medical college, reported The Times of India.
He added that dedicating the lab to the doctor's mother was a 'gesture of gratitude towards his selfless service.'