The goal is to keep patients motivated and confident during their stay at the centre, a doctor said

From music, to herbal gardening and a library to provide food for thought, the Siddha COVID-19 Care Centre in Tirupathur has made several arrangements to ensure that patients are fully occupied during their stay at their premises.

The Tirupathur Siddha COVID-19 Care Centre was started at the hostel of a government polytechnic college in Natrampalli two months ago, and has 60 beds in 26 rooms . To date, more than 480 patients have been treated and around 430 have tested negative and been discharged.

“During their time in the centre, we wanted to keep the patients engaged and not think about the infection. We already have a television and 24-hour-music, but we wanted something to keep them occupied and at the same time, educate them,” said V. Vikram Kumar, government Siddha doctor who is the coordinator for the Siddha COVID-19 care centre.

Hence, based on instructions from Tirupathur collector M. P. Sivanarul, a herbal garden was started. “We have 50 varieties of herbal plants including karpooravalli, tulsi, hibiscus, thumbai, thuthuvalai, papaya, adathodai and others. Their uses are stated in a board beside the plants,” he added.

Every morning and evening, patients water the plants and take care of them. “We wanted to improve their confidence levels and motivate them. Books are the best medium to do this. Hence we also started a small library with a few hundred books,” Dr. Vikram Kumar explained.

The library comprises books by Tamil authors, books on Siddha medicine and on the environment. “People learn new things and many have picked up the reading habit now,” he added.

Apart from this, the patients perform yoga and light exercises everyday. “Food is provided in mud pots,” he explained.

One of the patients said that he initially came in fearful.. “But after coming here, I felt very relaxed. It was as if I was at a resort. Food is provided on time. I also learnt about medicinal plants and their uses,” said the patient.

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