District admin yet to devise plan
Anantnag: Anantnag district administration’s decision to not provide food to Covid positive patients admitted at Trauma Hospital in Bijbehara is causing a flurry of problems for patients, their attendants and above all the hospital administration.
The Trauma hospital is a new facility in Bijbehara area, which was among 23 hospitals, across Jammu and Kashmir designated for Covid-19 treatment. The facility was used as a quarantine centre last year and then as a hospital for Covid positive pregnant women.
This year though, the hospital will be playing a major role for people from not only Anantnag district but from across south Kashmir will be thronging here as the number of Covid cases rise across Kashmir.
Unlike last year, the district administration has curtailed food supply to the patients admitted at the hospital making attendants from far flung areas buy food from the market.
“I am from Kokernag and my home is too far away for me to arrange food for my wife admitted here. So I have to buy food from the market without knowing whether it is fit for a patient’s consumption or not,” Gulzar Ahmad, an attendant told Kashmir Reader, “I appeal the authorities to either arrange food for the patients or find us a hospital near home where we can arrange food on our own.”
Other attendants at the hospital have similar complaints.
“This is a new hospital and has not much of facilities around. Every day we have to run in confusion and haste to arrange food,” Irfan Ahmad, another attendant said.
The hospital administration, meanwhile, is worried that too many attendants on the pretext of bringing in food and other supplies was putting many in danger. “We do not need attendants at the hospital. They only add to the footfall and put themselves and other people in danger,” a doctor at the hospital said.
He said that if food was provided to patients, attendants could have been sent home and returned only when the patient gets fit enough to be discharged. “But they have to arrange the food for their patients and they keep hovering in and around the hospital all the time,” the doctor said.
Even if, the doctor said, the hospital administration takes food for the patients at the gates and not allow attendants inside, the attendants still have to be remain around the hospital, “for they have to arrange food for their loved ones,”
Besides, this practice is ultimately going to add considerably to the overall tally of COVID infections as well, for these attendants move in and out of the hospital and then have unhindered access to the market places and their homes.
The hospital administration and the attendants told Kashmir Reader that they have pleaded with the district administration to look into the matter and see what can be done but thus far there has been no response.
“Besides, a lockdown has now been imposed and it will be harder to find food in the market. I don’t know what to do now,” an attendant said.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate Bijbehara, Jahangir Khanday said the issue has been flagged by many people and have taken up it with their higher-ups. “For now there is no proposal to provide food there like we did last year. We have been hearing from people regularly though and I have intimated the higher ups in this regard,” Khanday said, “Things are being contemplated upon I am told.”