Adding to the rapidly increasing number of Covid-19 patients in Bapu Dham Colony, as a 35-year-old woman resident tested positive for the disease on Friday, the Chandigarh administration finally took stringent measures to curb the further spread of the disease in the hotspot, which has recorded at least 147 cases till now. The total number of Covid-19 cases in the city stands at 218.
Under the new measures introduced by the administration, three institutional quarantine facilities or “care areas” have been made available to the residents of the colony, who opt for it.
One such care centre is a school within the colony which has a capacity of 300 occupants. This facility is primarily available for elderly people and those with serious co-morbidities. The centre can also be used by vulnerable population, including pregnant mothers and young children. Two centers, Girls Hostel no 8 in Panjab University and Government Model School in Raipur Kalan have also been ear-marked as care centres which can be used by residents from the colony, subsequently. The facilities, including the 300-bedded school building beginning operations Saturday, will be provided for free.
A sample collection center has also been set up inside the colony. Since residents have been skeptical of using ambulance to get to hospitals for Covid-19 sampling, as the vehicle itself could be a source of infection, the sample collection centre has come as a relief to many.
A total of 58 samples were collected at this sampling centre by a team of GMSH-16 Friday. A total of 3,531 people from the UT have been sampled for the disease. The test results of 77 people are awaited.
People with co-morbidities struggle to get medication
Even though measures have been put in place to curb the spread of the infection, ramp up testing and protect vulnerable populations within the colony, residents with non-COVID-19 conditions and chronic health issues reportedly struggle to receive medical attention and medications that they essentially require.
A resident, who has been attempting to get medication for his sister-in-law, a patient of hypertension and diabetes, finally got the medicines through police officials posted in the colony.
“I first went to the local dispensary but they refused to listen to me. They gave me a doctor’s number, who told me they do not have the medicines I need,” said the man, who wished to remain anonymous.
The man had earlier tried to source the medicines through the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Model Hospital in Ram Darbar, but was handed over medicines from a private chemist which he had to pay for. “When we are guaranteed medication under ESI, why would we pay for our medication? Especially since we have lost our livelihoods ” said the man.
When his sister-in-law needed medication again on Wednesday, he was unable to get it from the local dispensary or the ESIC hospital yet again. “The local dispensary officials refused to help and we had run out of medication. Finally, the police officials helped us late at night. They used their own resources to get our medicine, however, no proper system is in place,” added the man.
Earlier, kidney patients from the colony who needed dialysis were not able to visit hospital on time due to lax ambulance services. Meanwhile, people who had sustained fractures and injuries could not get themselves checked and were only administered pain killers by the local dispensary.
“We are going to set up another dispensary for non-covid ailments in the colony. I have spoken to the director health services and we will soon figure out more details on how it will work,” said SDM Sudhanshu Gautam.
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