Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service
Hyderabad, May 17
An 18-year-old engineering student from Telangana’s Nalgonda has chosen to isolate himself on a tree to prevent himself from infecting his family with Covid-19.
Ramawat Shiva Naik, who studies at a college in Hyderabad, has spent 11 days on a tree. near his home in Kothanandikonda village in Adavidevulapally Mandal.
Shiva supplements his family income by working as a porter in a paddy procurement centre, and that was where he contracted the virus, he says. His symptoms were mild, a doctor at a primary health centre some 5 km away told him, and he need only isolate himself at home.
His home is small, with five people sharing one washroom, and self-isolation there was out of the question. His other option, going back to his hostel accommodation in Hyderabad was equally unviable because educational institutions are currently closed.
“This was my only choice,” he says from his isolation spot atop the “Ganuga” (Pongamee) tree. His isolation centre is a makeshift cot made of bamboo sticks and ropes. He uses a bucket to pull up meals and other essentials that his parents bring to him.
Shiva keeps in touch with family and friends through his mobile phone, which also proved useful to kill the time. He sent a few messages calling on local authorities to set up an isolation centre in the area. Responding to his appeal and growing requests from people in his village and about a dozen other villages, the authorities set up an isolation centre late last week. They converted a hostel meant for students belonging to Scheduled Tribes into an isolation centre. They also persuaded Shiva to move to the centre. He will soon be completing his isolation period.
Shiva's incident highlighted the problems faced by Covid infected in villages. Living in small houses with no or single washroom, they can't isolate themselves.
In some instances, last year and also during the ongoing second wave, individuals who test positive were not allowed to enter into villages. At few places, Covid-infected patients are living in isolation either in huts outside the villages or in the fields. — With IANS
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