Patients' relatives queue up outside a medicine shop.
Patients' relatives queue up outside a medicine shop.
File photo

BHOPAL: Rajesh Bansal’s father and elder brother have been admitted to Hamidia Hospital for treatment of Covid-19. Rajesh and his younger brother, Arvind, remain on duty at the hospital round the clock, but take turns. Rajesh relieves Arvind at 8 o’clock in the morning. He brings breakfast—consisting of cornflakes and milk—for his brother and father, while Arvind goes back home to Malviya Nagar and takes some rest. In the meantime, Rajesh’s son also reaches the hospital to assist his father. He brings prescribed medicines from the shops nearby.

Two days ago, he was jostling with the crowds to buy Remdesivir injections and running from one shop to another in the city. He was successful in buying them—although at a highly exorbitant price—on the second day.

This story is not only of one Rajesh and Arvind, but there are thousands of such relatives who spend considerable time in Covid-dedicated hospitals among corona-positive patients. They move around the city struggling for oxygen and Remdesivir injections and other life-saving drugs.

Most of them later test corona-positive. But, by then, they have infected several others at the medicine shops, oxygen-refilling plants, at home and at the vegetable and milk vendors’ outlets. “They’re not doing it wilfully. They’re left with no other option. Considering the resource crunch at the hospitals, relatives are taking care of their patients,” said Dr Sanjay Singh, a private practitioner. “Moreover, one more person is required to struggle for arranging for life-saving drugs,” he added.

Among several other reasons for the spread of the coronavirus in the state capital now, one of the most important includes relatives of patients who are visiting Covid-dedicated hospitals at least twice a day. These hospitals have a very heavy overload of coronavirus. Earlier, relatives were not allowed to enter Covid-dedicated hospitals. But, now, as the hospitals are full and medical staff is limited, many patients have their relatives with them for help.

A dedicated team of volunteers deputed at every hospital to attend to the daily needs of the patients could ease the burden on the hospital staff, as well the relatives. Several groups have offered this help, but the government is yet to take a decision on it

Home testing stopped, suspects spread virus

  • Conditions have deteriorated after the government stopped testing of corona at home

  • Now, symptomatic suspects have to go to the hospitals for a corona test

  • It is very obvious that these suspects come into contact with lots of people and spread the virus unknowingly, until they find their report positive after a few days

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