Asia

Covid fear is making families abandon patients ready for discharge

HYDERABAD/PATNA: Covid-19 patients fortunate enough to turn a corner after spending weeks battling the disease in hospitals are finding themselves alone and abandoned. Hospitals are recording growing instances where families of patients go “missing” — they wont turn up to take away a discharged patient and wont answer calls. In Hyderabad city alone, 50 discharged patients — many of them elderly — across govt hospitals had to be readmitted in the last few weeks because their families were either unreachable or pleaded with the authorities to keep the patient for a few more days.
States like Telangana, Bihar and Delhi have allowed home isolation for mild and asymptomatic Covid-19 patients. Hospitals are now discharging patients whose condition has stabilised and advising them home quarantine for the rest of the recovery period. But this has met with resistance from families.
Apart from fear of infection, families have cited lack of space in small houses among reasons for refusal to take patients back home, according to Dr Prabhakar Rao, nodal officer for Covid-19, Gandhi Hospital (Hyderabad). “Others insist on a negative Covid-19 report before taking a patient for home quarantine,” he said. This has left many patients in the lurch.
A 71-year-old who was being treated for the coronavirus at Gandhi Hospital told TOI that his family stopped taking his calls after he told them he was to be discharged and kept in home quarantine. “I was shifted to another hospital and I have been here for the last 10 days.”
In Patna, there have been cases where kin have shown reluctance in picking up even fully recovered patients. Nodal officer for Covid-19 at AIIMS Patna Dr Sanjeev Kumar said families are citing presence of elderly and other at-risk people at home to ask hospitals to keep patients for longer than required.
In a few cases, where patients lost the battle with coronavirus, final rites were arranged by administration as family members didnt want anything to do with the body. Dr H S Sharma, nodal officer for Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital (Bhagalpur), narrated the case of a 67-year-old patient — who had turned up alone at the hospital to get adRead More – Source

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