Hyderabad: The plight of some tribals, who have been isolating themselves in an open field in Mannanur village, Telangana for showing symptoms of COVID-19, came to light when Amrabad forest divisional officer Rohith Gopidi walked through the forest noticed the villagers had setup tents for COVID-19 isolation.
The Indian Forest Service (IFS) official realized the necessity of establishing a proper isolation ward with food, as he found that these tents were not suitable for quarantine.
Rohit Gopidi and his wife Padmini Patlolla have requested assistance from the corporate social responsibility (CSR) ward of Apollo Hospital for making it a safe quarantine environment.
Within three weeks, all the necessary permissions were granted to set up a 30-bed COVID-19 isolation facility for tribal people in Mannanur village near Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Nagarkurnool District of Telangana.
Telangana Residential Girls social Welfare School and College has now been converted into an isolation center, where people contracted with COVID-19 are now being admitted.
About 4,000 people live in five villages in Mananur. The facility, which has one doctor, four nurses and six volunteers, has been operating since May 25 along with almost all consulting doctors. All patients here are provided with the required care, medication and nutritional supplements free of charge.
“The tents in the fields were hot and I wasn’t sure if they were able to access proper food. The people in the villages here live in small houses without interior walls. Around eight to 10 members live in one house,” the IFS officer told The News Minute.
He added that the villagers mostly lack basic facilities and they felt that the facility would be very useful if it offered nice food and a place.
The Forest Department has deployed staff to sort things out and help local residents get to the center.
Forest staff and local representatives experienced initial setbacks with people unwilling to act as support staff for clean-up and other activities. However, officials said Achampet MLA G Balraj was instrumental in mobilizing staff for the centre.