COVID-19: Long queues at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad

Nihad Amani and Mohammed Hussain

Hyderabad: It appears that slowly apprehension giving way to panic in certain sections of people in Hyderabad.

A visit to Gandhi Hospital in Musheerabad, a junction between the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, reveals that the crowd of suspected patients of coronavirus is increasing by the day. Today when the team of visited Gandhi Hospital in the early afternoon it found around 400 persons waiting for their turn to be checked out by the doctors. There were fear and wariness on their faces. Some of them were coughing while others sneezing. There were signs of panic in the crowd.  There were also those who had a fever.

 “More than 400 persons are coming to us for COVID-19 tests every day for the last few days. They come to us even for mild cough and cold because they are afraid. Every day we tend to request them to calm down. It is a long procedure which consumes time and patience,” said Shravan Kumar, Superintendent of the hospital.

Explaining why people have to spend several hours just to get them tested for the deadly virus, the official said, “The staff and the patients are in the ratio of 1:10. The situation is becoming worse by the day. There are more people every day in the ques. The people are walking in for tests. They believe that it can be done in an hour or so. But that is not the case. Many of them when asked to sit down, roam around increasing the possibility of spreading it in the safe areas. Small fissures are erupting because of their impatience,” added Dr Shravan Kumar.

According to sample interviews by, it was revealed that they are all anxious and restless because they are not sure what the doctors would tell them. “We want the doctors to tell us that we are not infected as the fear is taking away our sleep. Coming here was a challenge because of the distance and the cumbersome journey.”

The visitors have to go through at least three stages of tests. Firstly, they are checked by a doctor to ascertain the symptoms. Luckily at this stage, there is a big chance that he or she is cleared of further investigation. In the second stage, the screened persons are sent to the 7th floor for further checks. Also, at this place, the person has to go through the X-ray machine. Once that is turned out to be clear he or she is given a slip declaring that the person under investigation is free from symptoms that lead towards coronavirus affliction. If the visitor is not cleared at this stage, he has to undergo further tests are carried out. The person is then asked to stay back for further observation for the next 24 hours. If he clears this stage, he is allowed to go home and if not, he is retained at the hospital for treatment. He is given protective gear specially designed for coronavirus patients.

Pointing out at the bio-waste bins near the que a man stated, “This should have been the cleanest place in the hospital but look at these garbage piles? Don’t you think even if a person comes here without a disease he would acquire one here,” he shot another question.

The hospital traditionally has a large number of homeless persons and beggars along with hopelessly poor persons. Some of them are found with relations and others with acquaintances near the ques as well as at the nearby public parks.  Many of them spend their nights there.

This scenario alone can turn a healthy person into a patient.  But what can be done? This is our proud City.