The only determination for them to fight Covid-19 was to be back with their loved ones -- but their families did not want them back. Such is the story of more than 50 people at Hyderabad’s Gandhi hospital. One of them is a 93-year old woman who is waiting for her sons to come and take her back home.
The family members of over 50 people who were being treated in the state’s Covid-exclusive hospital refused to take them back even after they were ready to be discharged. Despite repeated calls from the hospital management, there was no response.
A few patients who were discharged waited hours at the hospital gate for their family members. Tired, they went back into the hospital seeking help. More than 50 such people have now been "re-admitted" because they had nowhere to go.
All these patients underwent treatment in the last 10-15 days, according to the Gandhi Hospital.
“All of the patients are healthy and have no symptoms. We discharged them and declared them fit for home quarantine. However, their family members refused to take them home,” said Dr Prabhakar Rao, Nodal Officer at Gandhi Hospital.
In some cases, the patients’ families demanded a test report saying the patient is Covid-negative before agreeing to take them back home.
According to ICMR guidelines, there is no need for testing prior to discharge – if the patients are asymptomatic/mild and clinically classified ‘moderate’ cases and if all of their symptoms subside completely and patients show signs of improvement.
“There’s a lot of stigma attached to Covid. Family members are scared that if they take back these patients, they would also contract the virus. Due to this fear, we are in a situation where people are not ready to take their own parents back home,” said a senior doctor from the hospital on condition of anonymity.
Among the abandoned patients, the elderly were given beds to stay at the hospital and a few of them were shifted to Nature Cure hospital that has been converted into a quarantine Ccentre.
Considering the heavy load of patients at Gandhi Hospital, it would be difficult for them to conduct re-tests and also re-admit patients.
At least 50 patients, who are asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic, have been asked to be under home quarantine. State officials are deployed to keep a tab on them and will also have to take note of their health condition at regular intervals.
Only in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits, about 2192 people are under home quarantine.
State Health Minister Eatala Rajender recently said only severe cases will be taken to hospitals and rest of them can be treated at home. He had also asked the people of the State to not panic and be under home isolation.