Curfew a trial by fire for critical patients, their families

Untrained family members have been left to cope with special needs of critical or bed-ridden patients, while others are unable to avail specialised medication
HT Image
HT Image
Published on Apr 12, 2020 11:56 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | BySrishti Jaswal, Chandigarh

Navneet Kaur, a Sector-50 resident, said, “My father is bed-ridden with blood disorders and kidney and brain degeneration. When the curfew was announced, my world turned upside down as his medical attendant couldn’t come home anymore. Trivial matters trigger him into a frenzy. He screams when he is hungry or cold.”

Harmohinder Kaur, 82, has polio since birth. Her son, Navdeep Singh, a Sector-15 resident said, “We help feed her, bathe her, change her diapers. It’s very challenging in the absence of a nurse. ”

These are just a few cases, wherein untrained family members have been left to cope with the special needs of critical or bed-ridden patients, after the lockdown deprived them of the appropriate care given by medical attendants. Unable to avail prescriptions or specialised medication after the curfew was imposed, patients and their families are at their wits end.

A Sector-47 resident, whose 17-year-old son is suffering from cerebral palsy, said, “His medicines are not available with the pharmacy in the vicinity. I have begged the police to allow me to get his medicines in the last few days. Now, we also have no access to physiotherapy for him.”

For others less fortunate, the curfew sounded a death knell. A Sector-38 resident lost his 98-year-old father a few days ago. “After his male nurse could not come home, my father’s condition worsened within days and he passed away,” he said. Another sales representative is worried about his bed-ridden 83-year-old father and is struggling to get passes for his attendants.

Those who rely on regular prescriptions are in a fix, too. GS Uberoi, 82, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016 and is on medication since. Amid the lockdown, he says getting medical aid is a struggle after his appointments with doctors got cancelled.

The issue does not stop at availing movement passes, as a lack of co-ordination between states offers another hurdle. “After much pleading we got a curfew pass from Chandigarh, only to find out that we need permission from Punjab as well, as the caretaker lives in Kharar. And now, we will have to get it renewed after April 14,” said Navneet Kaur.

Arun Kumar Gupta, UT health secretary, said, “We cannot grant curfew passes to caretakers for everyday travel because that defeats the purpose of the curfew. If some body is in dire need of an attendant, they can always have them stay at their home with the patient. We can issue passes for one-time travel.”


The 65-year-old wife of 73-year-old MK Jain, Madhu suffers severe pain in her hand. After being diagnosed with a skeletal deformity, her surgery was scheduled in the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital- Sector 16 on March 23. However, due to the lockdown, doctors refused to take up her case.

After the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Chandigarh, OPDs in five government hospitals including the PGIMER were closed and the scheduled surgeries were cancelled.

Only emergency wards have been kept open at PGIMER, GMSH-16, Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Sector 32, Manimajra Civil Hospital, Civil Hospital in Sector 45 and the Civil Hospital in Sector 22, while certain departments are available for tele-consultation.

A PGIMER doctor said they have been given instructions to conduct surgeries and treatment only in case of life saving situations.

“We request everyone to not visit the emergency ward unless it’s crucial because patients suffering critical illness will be far more susceptible to the virus and it will be far more difficult to save the patient,” he said.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Businessman Raj Kundra has denied police accusations that he used the app to upload pornographic videos shot in and around Mumbai for paid viewership through the app. (Twitter/TheRajKundra)

    ‘Don’t know what ED wishes to probe’: Raj Kundra’s lawyer after ED lodges case

    A day after the Enforcement Directorate booked businessman Raj Kundra in a money laundering case, the businessman's lawyer said there were no “proceeds of crime” as contemplated under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, and that he had no idea what ED intended to probe.

  • A view of Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi temple and Shahi Idgah mosque, in Mathura. (PTI)

    Mathura court allows plea seeking removal of mosque in Krishna Janmabhoomi case

    A court here on Thursday allowed a petition seeking to remove the Shahi Idgah mosque that it claims is built on the land belonging to the Keshav Dev temple, the birthplace of a lawyer for the Hindu side, Lord Krishna said. Hari Shankar Jain said the court has accepted one of the multiple pleas on the matter. The Krishna Janmabhoomi complex spans 13.37 acres.

  • The five youngsters were returning from a local market when their car collided head on with an SUV. (Representational Image)

    Rajasthan: 5 youngsters of a family die after car collides with SUV, 7 injured

    Five youngsters of a family died and seven others injured in a road accident late on Wednesday in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan, police said. All the deceased are in the age group of 16 to 22 years. Assistant Superintendent of police, Raghuveer Singh said the incident happened last night near Barkheda village. All five are from one family and identified as Vasim (18), Arbaz (22), Parvez (16), Ashiq (17), and Aalam (19).

  • Khalistan flags tied on the main gate and walls of the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha complex at Tapovan in Kangra district. (HT file photo)

    Duo from Punjab who put up Khalistan flags history-sheeters: Himachal DGP

    The two men arrested from Punjab for putting up Khalistan flags and scrawling graffiti at the entry gate of the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha in Dharamshala recently had carried out similar acts in Kharar, Ropar and Kurukshetra, police said on Thursday. The two had started out by putting up a Khalistan banner on the Kharar-Ropar road. Khalistan banners were tied at the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha's Tapovan Complex in Dharamshala on May 8.

  • Pictures of the week-long arms training camp held by the Bajrang Dal in Karnataka's Kodagu district sparked outrage on social media.

    Officer probing Bajrang Dal arms training camp in Karnataka's Kodagu transferred

    Virajpet deputy superintendent of police CT Jayakumar told HT that the transfer was routine and had nothing to do with the controversy. “The circle inspector had served in the post for over a year and it was a routine transfer. The order for the transfer was issued much earlier. There is no need for controversy,” he said, adding no FIR has been registered in the case so far.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 19, 2022