VISAKHAPATNAM: Despite directions by the government to provide humane medical care and good facilities, it appears that there are shortcomings in implementing the same. Pradhama Hospital in Vizag, one of the isolation centres for COVID-19 suspected patients, presents a pathetic picture leaving those isolated on its premises with a bitter experience.
Untidy rooms, a litre of water per person in an entire day and unresponsive staff serving dinner at 10 pm irrespective of the age factor or medical condition of those isolated are some of the problems at the hospital.
On Thursday night, a The New Indian Express reporter and her family members were shifted to the hospital for tests. They are to stay there in isolation till their results come out. Narrating her experience on Twitter, she said the room where they were accommodated was in a pretty poor condition with empty bottles lying around and the floor unclean. Though she tried to get the attention of the staff, it proved futile and the incharge, Raghavendra, was not available over phone.
Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister P V Ramesh, responding to her tweets, promised to act and within hours, intimated that action was initiated. Advisor to the State government S Rajiv Krishna, assured that he will inform the relevant authorities and do the needful. The hospital authorities provided dinner at 10 pm even as diabetic patients and others were among those lodged in the hospital for isolation.
Our reporter explained that the security staff denied her friends permission to drop in some food as she wanted to ensure timely meals to her family members who are diabetic. To her dismay, one of the staff members, Nagendra, informed her that they needed to get permission from the deputy collector to allow food from outside.
On Saturday too, breakfast was served around 9.30 am and the staff did not serve lunch till 3 pm. “The staff, however, said there were more people coming in and they could not manage the load,’’ she said.
Responding to the poor state of affairs, Andhra Medical College principal and COVID-19 nodal officer PV Sudhakar said they were trying to address the issues at isolation centres. “However, most of the complaints are made due to frustration.
It is difficult to address individual grievances as the complainants are not ready to adjust and some even demand food of their choice. If there are still genuine cases, they are addressed by centre incharges,’’ he said. Meanwhile, the rise in positive cases is throwing a challenge in creating facilities for infectees at COVID-19 hospitals and people in quarantine or isolation centres. The district administration is going ahead to create more facilities. As part of it, all Andhra University (AU) engineering college hostels, houses built for cyclone Hudhud victims and welfare hostels are being considered.