People are opposing Covid testing. Do you think it requires intervention by govt?
Rumours rife, awareness needed
With the number of infected cases spiking, it’s very unfortunate and unacceptable that many people in the villages and other areas are resisting the testing. Not only that, they are even attacking and targeting the testing teams. They are being misled by political parties and other people for their selfish means. Rumours regarding Covid patients abound. They need to be told about how many tests are involved in such procedures and only blood relatives and those matching blood and tissue are entitled to donate their organs for transplants. Social activists and religious leaders should be enlisted and involved to inform the gullible about these facts. If even then people resort to such illegal and violent acts to resist testing, they should be dealt with iron hands. No leniency should be shown to such rogue and anti-social elements.
Lack of facilities at govt hospitals
Patients who are being treated at government hospitals have been complaining of lack of facilities. That is the reason why people are opposing sampling. Private labs are costly and charge Rs2,500 for testing. Also, private labs issue false reports of patients just to make money. That’s a crying shame. Nowadays humanity has vanished. The government has become deaf and dumb, they are least bothered.
Correct information be disseminated
The continuing spread of virus has evoked fear among the people at large. It stems from the lack of a specific treatment, the need to be isolated, its higher rate of developing complications and a higher fatality as compared to other viral respiratory infections. Moreover, these medical facts, the fear of contracting infection stems from the highly sensationalised reporting of the pandemic by the media. In this backdrop, increasing instances of villagers and industrial workers opposing the sample collection for testing seems justified. These instances clearly show a lack of understanding of the basic principles of controlling a crisis, on the part of villagers and industrial workers. Clearly, they are not expected to have this technical knowledge. It is the duty of the Health Department of the state to disseminate correct information regarding the need for testing. So, a wider and more effective public outreach programme is needed to curb the spread.
Village panels, NGOs should be consulted
In order to control the pandemic, a setback for the testing teams opposed by the rural population, is facing resistance for testing due to rumours and fear of losing loved ones because of alleged lack of poor treatment at government Covid facilities. To make them aware, government should take the help of Mahila Arogya Smities, village health and sanitation committees, panchayat members and NGOs should come forward. They should be given proper counselling.
Govt must take steps to counter rumours
The country has been confronted with the twin challenges of ensuring public health and economic resurrection. From time to time, the Centre and state governments have taken all necessary measures to tackle the crisis. During the nationwide lockdown and partial relaxation of strict restrictions in a phased manner, the Health Ministry has issued medical advisories to contain the spread of the deadly contagion. But people violate the mandatory safety and hygiene protocols with impunity. Besides, our healthcare system has lagged behind in contact tracing, testing and treatment of patients, courtesy lack of trained medical staff, PPEs and lab facilities, prohibitive costs and delayed diagnosis. Consequently, the number of positive cases and fatalities has been multiplying of late. Concerned at the rapidly worsening situation, the ICMR has regularly revised its testing strategy in its effort to reduce community transmission and flatten the curve. It has roped in high-tech private pathological labs and provided more quality testing kits to state governments. Its latest decision providing walk-in tests for asymptomatic and mild cases without doctor’s prescription is welcomed. But due to false and misleading propaganda about testing and organ harvesting, people are vehemently resisting aggressive sampling. Also, they are skeptical about testing procedures, their reliability and delayed reports; they complain about poor facilities, care and treatment at government’s care centres. To boost people’s confidence, rumour-mongering should be checked and social stigma attached to virus be removed. Strict enforcing of SOPs, a tab on overcharging by private hospitals and revamping state health infrastructure is needed.
The Covid-induced lockdown has changed the trend of wedding ceremonies in India. The celebrations, which earlier used to be fancy, big-budget, colourful and elaborate, are now turning into a low-key affair. Do you think the trend is for good and should continue even post-Covid?
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