CHENNAI: 70-year-old Valarmathi (name changed) who is bedridden due to a Covid-related illness at the Government Omandurar Medical College Hospital, has been relieving herself in front of other patients and their attendants, including men, for the past week.
As the number of Covid cases has been reducing, the male and female units have been merged, both in the general Covid ward and the Covid ICU, patients said. The hospital’s dean, Dr R Jayanthi, said male and female patients are lodged separately, but photos from patients suggest otherwise.
“Only two screens are provided to cover the patient. So, at least one person can see the patient at all times. This is the case in both ICU and general Covid ward. This adds to the emotional trauma and suffering,” said Valarmathi’s attendant.
Besides, attendants are again being allowed in Covid wards though the government has prohibited this. Photos shared by patients in the Covid ward show attendants sitting on the beds along with patients.
Valarmathi’s attendant added that the body of a patient who died was only taken away one-and-a-half hours later.
P Ravi, whose father was admitted to the hospital, said the washrooms are seldom cleaned. “There is an unbearable stench, and this adds to the patients’ suffering. When the patient beside my father died, my father started panicking as his body remained there. Though the doctors are doing a great job, the facilities are poor.”
Another patient, on condition of anonymity, said the oxygen concentrators were not working. “They had to check three or four concentrators before finding one that works. But even them the flowmeter knob was not working. Before the number of cases rises again, the government should repair the equipment,” he said.
The dean said she would assess and address the situation.