CHITTOOR After some class X students tested positive for Covid-19 on April 29, Ravi Kumar (41), a biology teacher at the municipal high school at Nagari, crippled in both legs due to polio, was gripped with fear, as he had taught them in close proximity.
A resident of Narayanavanam, 20 km from Nagari, the teacher would keep shuttling between school and home on his tri-scooter.
The fact that three of his colleagues had succumbed to the dreaded virus recently, preceded by a number of casualties among the teachers elsewhere in Chittoor district since the Covid first wave, was enough to whip up his worst fears, making him tremble and swoon often.
Keeping in view the safety of his spouse, and three teenage children, Ravi took the Covid test, which turned positive. “Being a weakling, I thought my days were numbered. I wept like a child. My wife and children were shaken,” he said. In the next two days, all the family members had tested positive. But, timely help came from the field staff from the primary health center, a few meters away from his house.
“We were taken to the Triage Center at Nagari. After conducting certain tests, we were advised home isolation and given medicine kits. Till last night, it was hell for my father with body pains and severe headache. We too are now experiencing the same, but on a lighter scale. We could practically see that it is a big fallacy among public that all Covid patients would need oxygen,” the teacher’s daughter Geetha (17) said. However, it was a harrowing time for all the five to share a single toilet under home isolation, with lots of apprehensions.
The family’s neighbor, a retired APSRTC employee (72) had tested positive to Covid a fortnight ago. “I was rushed to Covid hospital in Tirupati, but was advised home isolation. Though I felt difficulty in breathing initially, I soon understood that the fear within us would play the culprit in pulling down our hope and boldness to fight the pandemic. Anticipating the worst, our family members could somehow procure two remidisivir injection doses at a hefty price and the same was returned later for the same amount as it was of no use to us. Two of my family members also tested positive and were alright now under home isolation,” he said.
Deputy District Medical and Health Officer (Dy DMHO) and District Nodal Officer (Triage Centers) P. Ravi Raju who visited the two families and interacting with the patients, said: “Early detection and strict home isolation regimen for the patients is the best panacea to fight the pandemic. Again, we urge the Covid field staff to instill confidence among the patients and help them shed the fears about Covid.”
The official said that the protocols of triaging and home isolation were now playing the crucial role in treating close to 90% of the Covid patients, while only below ten percent of them were being treated in the care centers and hospitals.
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