Hyderabad

P16, who tested voluntarily, lauds Gandhi quarantine

The staff is friendly and the ward is maintained with utmost hygiene, says youth

“We even have WFH here. Work from Hospital,” quips 24-year-old Nikhil (name changed) aka P16 from his hospital bed.

Diagnosed with COVID-19 a week ago, Nikhil, a law graduate pursuing higher education in the UK, is now assigned the name P16, based on the chronology of the coronavirus patients in the State. Nikhil’s opinion of the isolation ward in Gandhi Hospital, where he is admitted now, challenges the popular perception of the government-designated quarantine centres.

“The staff is really friendly. They greet us warmly from time to time. Their courage to work in these wards amid the widespread panic gives me goosebumps every time,” says Nikhil. He spends most of his day working on the project he got fellowship for, from the Clinton Foundation, and listening to online classes from the University Of Edinburgh through the hospital’s WiFi facility. Nikhil’s project on Human Rights activism won him enrolment into Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU).

Yet to meet family

He is probably the rare foreign returnee, who chose to head directly to Gandhi Hospital upon arrival instead of going home to Warangal. He is yet to meet his family and friends. “I made it clear to my parents that I was not going to meet them until I get my tests clear, and also discouraged friends from receiving me at the airport,” Nikhil said.

After arriving in the wee hours of March 19, Nikhil approached the health desk at the RGIA with mild sore throat, but was told that quarantine was not mandatory for patients from UK. Nevertheless, he spent the next few hours at a hotel, and went to Gandhi Hospital.

By the next morning, the test results came positive. While in the hotel room, he avoided contact with the staff and asked the room boys not to come inside. Once he tested positive, he informed the Health authorities about his hotel stay and asked them to sanitise the place. “The ward is maintained with utmost hygiene. Rooms are cleaned and mopped every day. They disinfect all corners. Bathrooms are cleaned every day and repairs are attended to,” he says in praise of the Gandhi Hospital’s isolation ward.

Bedsheets used for COVID-19 patients and their hazmat suits are changed every day. The used sheets and suits are disposed of by burning. Nutritious diet is provided four times a day, which includes boiled egg and dry fruits and nuts.

Interestingly, Nikhil has not had fever so far, though respiratory congestion and exhaustion persist.

In fact, several harbouring the virus may not show up with fever, and it is in the best interest of the country and its population that the foreign returnees isolate themselves without being told so, Nikhil says.

“Pass wartime emergency laws to take control over the private hospitals. Turn them into isolation wards. When a country can build a whole new hospital in days, you can at least cause some displeasure to the affluent corporate owners of private hospitals,” he posted as suggestion to the government on his Facebook timeline, where he revealed his COVID-19 status.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 12:16:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/p16-who-tested-voluntarily-lauds-gandhi-quarantine/article31167230.ece

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