The battle against coronavirus is, of necessity, a lonely one. In mental healthcare institutions across India, it’s lonelier and tougher still. Families don’t, or can’t, visit. The restricted movement gets in the way of recovery, it can be difficult to check for Covid until symptoms manifest in serious ways, most patients are anyway in high-risk groups and, sometimes, it is simply difficult to get a message about the pandemic and its constraints across. “Of the 530 inmates we have, about 20% have chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia. They can’t communicate their problems, tell us if they feel sick or if they need support. They don’t understand social distancing or why sanitisers need to be used over and over,” said
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