Patients discharged, but held back by lockdown


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Patients who have been discharged (and their attendants) are now stranded in the King George's Medical University (KGMU) because of the lockdown.

These patients, declared 'healthy' are being forced to stay in the sheds on the KGMU campus.

Discharged patients from the nursing homes, meanwhile, are being 'pushed on to the roads.'

"There are hundreds of those who have been discharged, but cannot go home due to the lockdown. We cannot keep them back in the wards and neither can we push them out, the problem is that most of them are susceptible to infection," said a senior resident doctor.

These discharged patients, some even from the well-to-do families cannot hire taxis because of the curbs on inter-city movement due to nationwide lockdown.

Vikas Kumar, whose father has been discharged after a hernia surgery, said, "We cannot shift into a hotel because of the lockdown. I have been trying to contact the District Magistrate, but there has been no response from his office. There are no ambulances here either. We are sitting under a shed since the past three days."

Kumar is accompanied by his younger brother and mother, apart from the father, while his two sisters are alone in their house in Basti.

Private ambulances are available but one of them demanded Rs 30,000 to travel to Basti, which is about 20 kilometres from Lucknow.

This family, and many others like them, are forced to survive on "samosas" and "pakoras" that are available in the canteen because outside restaurants and eateries are all closed.

"Most of us buy fruits for the patients who have been discharged while we are forced to live on street food that is available here," said Vikas on phone.

The KGMU officials, meanwhile, said that they were aware of the problem and had even informed the local administration, but no remedial steps had yet been taken.

At the Queen Mary's hospital, across the road, there are at least two mothers with newborns who are staying in the verandahs, waiting for the lockdown to be lifted so that they can go home.

Meanwhile, private nursing homes are showing their callous side in these trying time. They have no qualms about shooing off patients, forcing them to live on the roadside.

"The nursing home does not have ample open space and we cannot accommodate the patients who have bene discharged. Though we do not like it, but they will have to make their own arrangements in this situation," said a senior doctor of a private nursing home in Mahanagar area.

A large number of patients have taken refuge in a local 'dharamsala' while some are staying in the verandah of a nearby temple -- no social distancing in either case.

Source: IANS

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