The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc in India, more so in rural districts and villages. A serious problem of lack of space to isolate has supposedly fuelled the surge.
Shiva, an 18-year-old teenager in the southern state of Telangana built himself a makeshift isolation ward, a bed rather on top of a tree in the area near his house, using bamboo sticks tied to the branches.
A resident of Kothanandikonda, a tribal village in the interiors of Nalagonda district, Shiva tested positive for the coronavirus on May 4 and volunteers in the village told him to isolate away from his family.
However, Shiva’s entire family lives in a small space and there was no way the young man could’ve been able to isolate without affecting his family. So he came up with this unique idea.
Shiva has also made a pulley system using rope and a bucket for his use while he isolates on the tree top. He is sent the food and other essentials using that by his family. So far Shiva has spent 11 days on the tree.
His village has 350 families but there is no nearest primary health centre (PHC) and one only 5 km away. Villagers also said the nearest hospital is 30 kms.
This is not a unique or an isolated incident. Last year, when the unprecedented nationwide lockdown was imposed by the central government, tens of thousands of migrant workers went back home. When they reached their villages, many were made to quarantine themselves on trees.
And now since the virus has entered rural and remote parts of India, hundreds isolate in open grounds or farm lands to keep their families safe and away from the disease.