Hyderabad: In an ironic violation of COVID-19 protocols, the state-run Government Fever Hospital observed Bonalu celebrations today, forcing patients to wait for their treatment. The festival was held with pomp and noise opposite the emergency ward, which may have also caused discomfort to patients, who voiced their concerns.
Devilal, a 25-year-old student from Osmania University waited patiently, prescription in hand, to get his injection for a dog bite at the Fever Hospital. He informed Siasat.com that he waited for over an hour before he finally got his injection. “I was unable to get the prescription easily because of the Bonalu celebrations in the hospital.”
Bharati, another patient waited to get her four-year-old son treated for a dog bite as well. But she stated that she had to wait for a long time at Fever Hospital as the doctors and nurses were involved in the celebrations. “Nobody was available to attend to my needs,” she stated.
The Bonalu at Fever Hospitalcelebrations took place right opposite the emergency ward in the hospital, with the superintendent, Dr. K. Shanker, also being a part of it. While there was nobody in dire need of help, a lot of underprivileged patients found it difficult to communicate with the medical staff, the help desk, or any official owing to the noise caused by the drums and other festivities.
The irony of the situation was that around 50 people were present at the celebrations with some of them not wearing their masks. While there has been sufficient criticism by medical experts about mass gatherings, it is amusing at best to witness members of the medical fraternity so brazenly overlooking such violations, their duties and causing a potential spread of the COVID-19 virus.
A staff member at Fever hospital, who requested anonymity, told this reporter that despite the presence of patients with other serious ailments in the emergency ward, the Bonalu celebrations take place each year with equal enthusiasm and noise. This situation is however not peculiar to the Government Fever Hospital alone as other hospitals in the city indulge in festivities as well.
When asked about the celebrations, Superintendent of Fever Hospital Dr. K Shankar remarked that “The celebrations were our way of respecting the religious sentiments of the people.”
The point worth considering here is whether government institutions like the Fever Hospital can be seen celebrating select festivals instead of maintaining an air of neutrality. However, the status quo as of the day is that the hospital and its staff were in violation of COVID-19 protocols while their patients remained unattended.