'In my eight-hour daily shift, I handle 15 to 20 suspected COVID-19 patients and primarily take their chest x-rays.'
He is Mumbai cricket's longtime 'Numbers Man' but 55-year-old scorer Deepak Joshi now has a way bigger assignment than keeping a tally of the fours and sixes hit by the Virat Kohlis and Rohit Sharmas.
Joshi, a medical technologist, is employed with a South Mumbai Hospital for the past 28 years but for the last few weeks he has been on frontline duty performing the x-rays for all suspected COVID-19 patients.
Joshi, who stays in Virar, a far-away suburb from Mumbai, re-joined duty on May 24.
"On May 24, I travelled in three buses for over three hours and re-joined duty whole-heartedly at the hospital. In my eight-hour daily shift, I handle 15 to 20 suspected COVID-19 patients and primarily take their chest x-rays," Joshi said on Monday.
For nearly a month now, Joshi, who has been Mumbai Cricket Association's official scorer in over 328 games including domestic and international, hasn't gone home.
"I haven't visited my home since May 24 and have been staying in the accommodation provided by the hospital. I thank the hospital management for the same," he said.
It could be anything between three to six months that Joshi won't be able to meet his family but that he believes is a small price to pay being a frontline worker in these distressing times.
"My wife and daughters are worried about my safety, but still they are encouraging me to continue working .They want me to take all the necessary precautions. Their support means a lot to me," said Joshi.
He was proud that Mumbai Cricket Association has lauded him for being a frontline warrior.
"Also, some of the officials of the Mumbai Cricket Association spoke to me and complimented me for the work I am doing. That also keeps me motivated," added Joshi, who has been the official scorer for 11 Tests, 21 ODIs and 5 T20Is.
According to Joshi, since he is residing in the hospital premises, he is available for duty round the clock or whenever the need arises apart from his regular shift hours.
"These are times when everyone needs to do their best beyond call of duty. I am always available whenever duty calls," Joshi said.