Coronavirus: With nowhere to go, some Indians are self-isolating in trees

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Lacking space in their homes, villagers in India’s eastern state of West Bengal who need to self-isolate themselves are taking to the trees to keep their families and neighbors safe from the coronavirus.

Seven villagers who recently returned from the southern city Chennai city to Purulia district, were advised by a doctor to isolate themselves for 14 days have hoisted beds into the branches of a tree or built platforms where they will stay during the quarantine period.

“The doctor directed us to stay at home and practice social distancing. We don’t have personal rooms in our houses. It was decided in the village that we should be isolated, we are living on and under the tree out of our own free will and we are doing well here. There are no problems,” said a villager Bijoy Sing Laya on Saturday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the country’s 1.3 billion people this week to stay indoors for three weeks in the world’s biggest lockdown, seeking to curb the spread of the illness.

India has reported 979 cases, including 25 deaths.

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