Andhra Pradesh

Healthcare services yet to reach Diviseema islands

The islands reported the first COVID death last week.   | Photo Credit: T. APPALA NAIDU

Last week, Nachagunta, one of the five islands in Diviseema in the district, reported the islands’ first COVID-related death. The victim’s family had to perform the last rites on the mainland after the inhabitants prohibited them from bringing the body to the island.

The five islands, Nachugunta, Eelachetladibba, Edurumondi, Brahamayyagarimoola and Yesupuram, nestled between River Krishna and Bay of Bengal, has a population of around 4,500-5,000. But except for a public health centre(PHC) on Edurumondi, there are no hospitals on any of the islands.

In emergency cases, people have to travel 15 km by water to reach the nearest Area Hospital in Avanigadda, which also is the nearest COVID hospital.

25 COVID cases

“By Sunday, at least 25 persons have tested positive for COVID and dozens of people are identified with its symptoms in the islands. The island of Eelachetladibba is the worst affected with 11 cases,” sources associated with charity works told The Hindu.

Hurdles galore

Fisherfolk families that inhabit the islands have to cross the river, by boat at night and by punt in the day time, to reach the mainland. While there are two punts, only one is in operation at present for the other has been anchored in need of repair. Given the geographical disadvantages, reaching the hospital in time remains a challenge for these people.

Even if one does overcome the hurdles and reaches the mainland in time, there is no saying if one would get admission. The nearest COVID Care Centre (CCC-Avanigadda), with 50 beds, is almost full in the wake of rising number of cases in the Diviseema region that comprises three mandals of Koduru, Nagayalanka and Avanigadda. On the condition of anonymity, a medical officer told The Hindu: “A CCC has to be set up immediately and all means of medical aid should be provided to them to prevent more deaths. The lone PHC on Edurumondi and a school building here can be converted into a CCC before the situation turns grim.”


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Printable version | Jun 14, 2021 12:41:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/healthcare-services-yet-to-reach-diviseema-islands/article34582636.ece

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