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Monday, March 01, 2021

At Singhu, barricades, blocked routes pose problems for makeshift hospital

The Delhi Police has sealed NH-44 from the Delhi side and stopped movement of farmers and locals from the main road post the Republic Day violence.

Written by Jignasa Sinha | New Delhi |
Updated: February 12, 2021 7:40:21 am
farmers protest, singhu border, delhi police, NH-44 blockade, Republic Day violence, indian express newsAs the camp doesn’t have many ambulances, it seeks help from Khalsa Aid and some hospitals in Haryana. (File Photo)

With heavy barricading at the Singhu border cutting off access to and from the protest site, doctors at medical camps said they are facing difficulty in shifting patients to hospitals in case of an emergency.

The Delhi Police has sealed NH-44 from the Delhi side and stopped movement of farmers and locals from the main road post the Republic Day violence. This, doctors said, has meant delay in treatment for patients who require specialised care in hospitals.

Avatar Singh, a volunteer from Lifecare Foundation in Punjab’s Dera Bassi, which is running a six-bed makeshift hospital, said, “We see more than 200 patients every day. Most of them are elderly farmers suffering from chest and joint pain, diabetes, and heart ailments. We can admit six people at our mini hospital… If an emergency arises, we have to rush patients to hospitals. As all roads to Delhi are closed, we have to go to hospitals in Rohtak and Sonepat. We are trying to call specialists to examine patients, so that fewer patients have to be shifted.”

It used to take 10-15 minutes to get to the nearest hospital — Raja Harish Chandra and Fortis in Narela. Now, it takes 30-45 minutes, say those at the site. As the camp doesn’t have many ambulances, it seeks help from Khalsa Aid and some hospitals in Haryana.

Dr Devender Rawat, a general practitioner from Sonepat who volunteers at the camp, said he has treated patients with lung disorders, diarrhoea, diabetes and allergies in the last one month. Though the camp has equipment like ECG machines, catheters and oxygen cylinders, at least three patients are referred to a hospital every day, he said.

“We have cases of injuries, and look after road traffic accident cases too. The makeshift hospital is small and I wish we had easy access to Delhi hospitals. In the last few weeks, we have only been able to send two-three patients to AIIMS,” said Dr Rawat.

Volunteers from the NGO are now calling cardiologists, endocrinologists and other specialists to the camp, with two doctors from Tripura arriving on Sunday.

Dr Ashish Roy Choudhary from Tripura Yuktibad Bikash Mancha said, “We have come to show our support for farmers and are treating patients here. I’ve specialised in pain and rehabilitation and I am helping farmers with muscle and ligament damage. Post the violence, there are people here who have severe chest and back pain.”

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