Helping Covid patients fight anxiety

In most cases, Covid patients suffer mental agony and depression during quarantine and hence need counselling along with recreation to overcome the psychological stress, says Mohammed Tasleel, past president, RC Bangalore Manyata, RID 3190. Under Project Co-heal, the club has set up a Covid care centre at the Rajiv Gandhi ­Medical ­Hospital in a tie-up with Presidency University, Bengaluru, and Globals, an IT firm. The uniqueness of this centre worth ₹1.75 crore is that it has a recreation centre for asymptomatic and ­mildly-affected patients being admitted here for preliminary care.

Mohammed Tasleel, past president of RC Bangalore Manyata, distributing a grocery kit to a family.
Mohammed Tasleel, past president of RC Bangalore Manyata,
distributing a grocery kit to a family.

The centre provides holistic treatment for Covid patients. “Quarantine is a must to control the spread of the virus, but patients mustn’t suffer mental agony because of the misconceptions and stigma attached to Covid. Some people think they are going to die. These thoughts affect their recovery,” explains Tasleel. When the state-of-the-art facility was being put together “along with 70 oxygen beds, 15 general beds, and 15 high dependency units (HDU), BiPAP machines, oxygen concentrators, a doctor’s lounge, lab and pharmacy, we set up a recreation centre for patients to keep themselves busy during the isolation period.”

Dr Shoba, Director at School of Home Science, Maharani University, and member of RC ­Bangalore Platinum City, has been counselling patients at this centre. “There is no magical treatment or pills for patients suffering from psychological symptoms. If they test positive, they begin to drown in uncertainty and this could lead to various other complications,” she points out.

Covid patients performing relaxing exercises at the Covid care centre set up by the club.
Covid patients performing relaxing exercises at the Covid care centre set up by the club.

Sagar who was admitted at the centre along with his 10-year-old-son Niruta says, “I was worried about my son. I kept asking ­doctors and nurses about his condition. I felt better after the online counselling sessions, yoga, breathing and mental health strengthening exercises. These sessions helped me to overcome anxiety. I could also enjoy a game of carrom or chess with my son… something I hadn’t done in a long time.” Even after being discharged from the ­hospital “my son and I play these games together,” he smiles.

The centre, set up in less than a week, is recognised by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike which is bearing the cost of medicines and other consumables at this facility. While the Suhas General and Charitable Hospital, Bengaluru, is overseeing the operations of the facility, the Rotary club through its Trust is providing meals to its patients and staff. “We ensure that non-medical staff (housekeeping and security) are also paid ­salaries. The centre provides lodging to the medical and non-medical staff,” says Tasleel. Oxygen flowmeters and pipelines offer ­round-the-clock service and patients who develop complications are referred to larger ­hospitals. ­Oxygen concentrators are sent to patients’ home if they could not be ­accommodated due to non-availability of beds. Karnataka chief ­minister Basavaraj Bommai inaugurated the centre. The club has created a portal www.healthdiaries.org for the public to register for Covid vaccination.

 

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