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Curfew, blackout compound misery

B. Madhu Gopal
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Swathi of Tagarapuvalsa was seen seated holding her newborn baby in the portico of the Government Ghosha Hospital building here on Tuesday afternoon. Anxiety was writ large on her face as she awaited the return of her mother.

The curfew that has been continuing for the last couple of days in the town has restricted the movement of not only the general public but also created problems for patients going to hospitals or returning home after discharge.

Swathi has a daughter and now she gave birth to a son but there seemed to be no joy in her face. Her husband, who lives in Visakhapatnam, had deserted her and didn’t even come to receive her.

Her mother had gone to try her luck to find some available transport to take her daughter and grandchildren back home to Tagarapuvalasa. Swathi waited long for her return.

“My daughter Keerthi was discharged at 2 p.m. today (Tuesday). The hospital staff said that I have to wait for an hour for the ambulance,” said Sari Krishna Murthy of Datti village of Dattirajeru mandal. It was said that the ambulance staff were agreeing to drop the discharged persons back home only if it was on their route.

Santhi of Karatam village of Bondapalli mandal waited on the ground floor as her baby boy was kept in the incubator on the first floor for the last eight days.

She was advised by doctors not to climb the stairs as she had undergone a caesarean operation. The power shutdown from Monday morning till around midnight and again from 6 a.m. on Tuesday has caused apprehensions among the people.

In all, 14 babies were given oxygen in the incubator ward.

While there was no power in the post-operative wards, hospital authorities managed to ensure uninterrupted power to the incubator ward. “Doctors have said that my baby is alright and he would be discharged soon,” she said but the anxiety in her voice was evident.

The women and infants in the post-operative wards are not so lucky.

In the absence of electricity, they had to take recourse to palm-leaf fans and suffer mosquito bite.

Passengers going to the railway station and returning home from the station were seen walking with their luggage.

The lucky ones managed to get the few cycle rickshaws that were available in the town.


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