Shikha Malhotra
Actor Shikha Malhotra | Twitter | @iSHIKHAMALHOTRA
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New Delhi: Actor Shikha Malhotra, who has appeared in the Shah Rukh Khan’s Fan, is volunteering as a nurse at an isolation ward for coronavirus patients in a Mumbai hospital.

Malhotra is a graduate in B.Sc nursing from Delhi’s Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital. In an Instagram post, the actor explained what prompted her to go back to her medical roots.

“At a time like this, when everyone is locked, people like me who are degree holders, retired nurses or heath professionals, don’t feel right being locked at home because it’s our duty to serve the country,” she said in a video posted on her Instagram account.

Malhotra had recently starred in the Hindi-Rajasthani film Kaanchli Life in a Slough, alongside veteran actor Sanjay Mishra.

Also read: When and how people can move around in Delhi during coronavirus curfew

‘Not as easy as it looks from outside’

In the video, Malhotra said she had applied to several different hospitals in Mumbai — from Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital and Medical Research Institute to Dr. R N Cooper Municipal General Hospital.

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She was finally accepted as a nurse in the isolation ward of Hindu Hruday Samrat Balasaheb Thackerey Trauma Centre in Mumbai’s Jogeshwari.

In a request to her social media followers, Malhotra said it was important to abide by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s request of staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

But she also called upon people with medical degrees or experience to step up and volunteer, irrespective of whether they were retired or had never worked at a hospital before. The actor said she was “satisfied” that the purpose for which she had studied medicine has come true.

Malhotra has been posting several updates of her time as a nurse at the isolation ward.

In one video from inside the ward, Malhotra said she wanted people to see how precautions were being taken — with medics wearing multiple sets of masks and gloves for safety.

“This is not as easy as it looks from the outside,” she said, again invoking PM Modi’s message for people to stay home and not add pressure on the country’s medical professionals.

“We all are working here for you”, she said, adding that it was time for everyone to “join hands to protect our country”.

During his Mann ki Baat address Sunday, PM Modi had called the fight against coronavirus a battle between “life and death”.

He also said that medical professionals were the “front-line soldiers” in this fight. Saluting the contributions of nurses, Modi said the World Health Organization has designated 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife in recognition of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birth anniversary.

Also read: Hospitals in Bihar, UP give staff HIV kits to plug mask shortage, experts say it won’t work


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