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Telangana student spends 11 days on a tree — he had nowhere else to isolate during COVID

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Hyderabad: A 18-year-old COVID-19 patient Shiva has built himself a COVID ‘ward’ and has been isolated for 11 days in Telangana’s Nalagonda district.

Since isolation was crucial, this Telangana teen, who was diagnosed with the virus on May 4, had no choice but to build an isolation ward for himself, a bed on top of a tree in the area surrounding his home.

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To make room, he tied bamboo sticks to the tree branches.

The problems of COVID-19 in Telangana’s Nalagonda district include not only access to healthcare centres, medicine and vaccinations, but also a more fundamental issue: a lack of room for home isolation.

As reported, volunteers in the village had advised him to stay at home and separate himself from his relatives. Shiva came up with the idea of isolating on the tree because of his living conditions and the lack of an isolation centre in his village.

He’s been on the tree for 11 days now.

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Kothanandikonda, one of the many tribal hamlets in the district’s Adavidevulapally mandal, is home to around 350 families. The closest primary health care centre (PHC) is 5 kilometres away and residents of these hamlets must travel 30 kilometres to reach a hospital in the event of a serious medical emergency, according to residents.

Due to an increase in COVID cases in rural areas of the state, the district administration converted a Scheduled Tribes Hostel in the mandal into an isolation centre on May 13th. Many people in these regions however are still unaware of this.

“There was no isolation centre here. They turned the ST hostel into a centre two days ago… We had nothing until then and I’m not sure whether similar centres exist in other villages… Is there anything else I can do?”, Shiva said.

Shiva added, he has a family of four and that cannot make anybody suffer because of me. That is why he decided to isolate on the tree.

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