Patients complain about bad hygiene and poor facilities at IMS BHU's COVID unit
Institute of medical sciences in Banaras Hindu University at Varanasi has failed to maintain hygiene in its isolation wards set up for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, said the patients.
Patients, who are currently admitted in the hospital, have complained about negligence on the authorities' part several times. The city has a total of 380 beds available, combining all hospitals.
The IMS patients are left with no option rather than to use the washrooms that have no water and continuously stink of urine.
"I am diabetic and so I need to go to the washroom almost every second hour but the toilet is always choked,” said a patient on the terms of anonymity.
The IMS’ patient said, “I even complained to the authorities many times and told them that there is no water but they said it will only get cleaned the next morning and about the water issue, they did not respond."
A patient, who died of COVID-19 few days back, also complained about the issues regarding the health facility in the hospital.
While alarming his family about his deteriorating health, the deceased had told his family members on call to take him out of the hospital as they were not paying proper attention.
Treatment of COVID-19 patients
Apart from complaints about the bad hygiene facility at the hospital in the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there are hardly any doctors to visit the patients.
Patients are being treated with the tablets of paracetamol and Vitamin C. Even the health care workers at the hospital have not been giving proper attention to the coronavirus-infected patients.
The situation in Varanasi
The government has made it mandatory for the COVID-19 positive patients to get admitted, but with the deteriorating conditions of the BHU-based hospital, how are the patients supposed to fight the disease and recover?
Despite having numerous cases, people in Varanasi have shown carelessness in maintaining social distancing and avoiding public gathering. Even proper reports on the city's COVID-19 situation are hard to find.
In mid June, a wealthy business family in Varanasi violated the law on public gathering by hosting a wedding ceremony with about 250 guests. Not only the wedding was held with grandeur but there was even a bachelor's party two days prior to the wedding, which was attended by a person with International travel history and who later on tested positive.
At least 30 people have been tested positive so far and the rest are still being traced by the authorities as they have fled away from their houses, say sources.
In the light of recent events, it can be suspected that there is community transmission mostly in the area around Vishwanath temple, also considered the heart of the city. The area is popularly known for its dense and congested lanes, numerous cases have been found there as with Unlock 1, people have resumed their normal daily lives and most coronavirus cases are going unreported.
Many of the positive cases have no travel history across India or outside India and also do not have any specific contact history. As per the official data of IMS BHU, the hospital is only testing around 330 people each day and the total population of Varanasi is about 16 lakhs.
There are private labs in the city with licence for COVID-19 testing but one can only go for a test in the private lab if a doctor has recommended it in writing.
The doctors doing private practice are avoiding patients with COVID-19 symptoms, making it more difficult to get a test done.
Most of the cases in the constituency of Indian Prime Minister are non-traceable, which indicates that Varanasi might have entered the community transmission phase.
(The author is a journalist)