- The mother and daughter have never gone out since the pandemic began
- They have not met anyone outside their family for the past three years
- Psychiatrist Dr Rami Reddy said the women struggled with schizophrenia
A mother and daughter have reportedly been locked in a small room inside their home in Kuyyeru village of Kakinada district in Andhra Pradesh, India since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.
K Mani, 44, and her 21-year-old daughter K Durga Bhavani have never left their home since the pandemic began. They had not seen sunlight or met anyone outside their family for the past three years for fear of contracting the virus, the Times of India reported.
They even refused to meet Mani’s husband K Suri Babu for the past four months, even when he brought them food. Babu reportedly called the authorities after hearing them screaming.
Police and health officials responded and broke down the door Tuesday to find them curled up and covered with blankets in the corner of the room. Both were lured out of the room after many hours of persuasion. They were taken to the state hospital of Kakinada.
According to the doctors, they assess the mental and physical condition of the women. “They are physically stable. We have kept them under the supervision of a psychiatrist,” said Dr Hema Latha.
Psychiatrist Dr Rami Reddy also said the women suffered from schizophrenia and received treatment for seven years, but the fear of COVID-19 may have exacerbated the illness.
Suri Babu, a vegetable vendor, said it all started with him telling women to wear masks and stay indoors in the early days of the pandemic. They locked themselves in the room after hearing about the deaths caused by the virus, he said.
India has recorded 112 new cases of coronavirus, while active cases fell to 3,490, Mint reported citing Union Health Ministry data update on Tuesday.
Active cases account for 0.01% of total infections, while the national recovery rate from COVID-19 rose to 98.80%, the ministry added. A decrease of 69 cases was reported in the active caseload of COVID-19 within 24 hours.