Thursday, December 9

Covid-19 positive aucklander who isolates himself in a caravan feels ‘scared’, abandoned by authorities

An Aucklander with Covid-19 who has been confined to a caravan in her backyard feels scared for her health and abandoned by health authorities.

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Photo: Unsplash / Lawton Cook

About 2,000 people with the virus live at home, and their supporters say the public health system is struggling to keep up.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told RNZ that she was on her 16th day of symptoms, having tested positive a week ago.

She received a package of food and received several phone calls from health authorities, but said she was unable to obtain detailed health advice, pain relief medications or a mobile test unit to check that her family was well.

Meanwhile, his symptoms were getting worse.

“I’m a little scared … and I feel like there are things stabbing my heart. Like, for the last two weeks I’ve been sweet, then two days ago I had this big dizziness. Last night – things stabbing my heart. I don’t know what that’s it, “he said.

“He could be dying and no one notices.”

The woman, who is reluctant to get vaccinated, lives in West Auckland with her two children and two parents.

When asked by health authorities if he would like to enter Managed Isolation and Quarantine, he refused because he did not know much about it and did not want to leave his family without support.

Now his father was showing symptoms and his own questions were piling up.

“I’ve tried to get my parents to do the test, even today, even today. Healthline keeps telling me that they are going to send a [testing] they go up but nobody has come, “he said.

“I’m just asking the same questions and getting no answers, when am I going to end this isolation? Am I supposed to wash my bedding? Am I supposed to throw it away?”

According to the Ministry of Health (MINSA), each Covid-19 patient who isolates himself at home must receive a brochure with tips and a package with everything necessary to monitor his health.

A medical health officer conducts a public health risk assessment, noting how safe the person is at home and what they might need.

The Health Ministry said that every day a health professional called to check in and make sure a person was well enough to isolate themselves, stay home and have the essentials they need.

But groups that support self-isolating patients have told RNZ that there are too many people staying home and that they should be in controlled isolation, and that health authorities are taking too long, in some cases days, to get in touch. .

Health Minister Andrew Little said he was disappointed to learn of people who were left without support, such as a man with Covid-19 who spent nearly a week in his car because he could not safely isolate himself at home.

“All I can promise to do is go back and see to what extent the public health unit is not exceeding the volume of cases and positive tests that arrive. But so far the guarantees that I and other ministers have received is that they are above that, “he said.

Auckland Councilor Daniel Newman, who had been delivering food parcels to people with the virus, believed that home isolation could be successful.

But he thought the Health Ministry had ordered it before putting in place enough financial, emotional and wellness services for Covid-19 patients.

He believed that there could be inter-institutional support from the Ministry of Social Development.

“What I’m saying from first-hand experience is that if the support is not there on a daily basis, if the reach is not there every day of isolation, I think the risk of failure increases and obviously we cannot allow that to happen.” . ” he said.

Meanwhile, another group helping to bridge the gap is the Student Volunteer Army.

They helped with food delivery, donated a washing machine to a family unable to visit the laundry, and even helped rescue someone from Mt Eden prison while their lawyer was in isolation at home.

President Sam Johnston said the group was addressing requests that other agencies were too busy to handle and were sometimes listening directly to Covid-19 patients.

“We are seeing an increase in applications as other organizations make their volunteers a little tired and exhausted. We really like to support those kinds of organizations, and I suppose, in general, the level of phone calls from the people increases as the number of people in self-isolation increases, “he said.

The general director of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, has recognized that the system is under pressure.

He said the Ministry of Health was working to obtain more resources to help support and contact people who isolate themselves at home.

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