Villagers abscond after testing positive

Panchayat union chairman M. K. Muthu and officials, on Friday, checking the houses in Kalanivasal near Peravurani where 28 patients diagnosed of COVID-19 fled before being hospitalised.  

As many as 28 residents of Kalanivasal near Peravurani in Thanjavur district locked up their houses and fled the village on receiving reports that they had tested positive for COVID-19. A search party, including health and revenue officials, is yet to locate the patients or get a hold of their whereabouts.

According to revenue officials, a fever camp was held at Kalanivasal, Sethubavachatram block on September 23. Samples were lifted from around 50 residents, of whom 28 people had tested positive for COVID-19. “We reached the village in the morning and found that the infected people were absconding. The houses were locked and the people were nowhere to be seen,” said a senior revenue official.

While several attempts were made to locate the residents, neither the neighbours nor the panchayat authorities cooperated, they said. “Police, health and revenue officials spent the whole day trying to trace the 28 patients but in vain,” he said.

The villagers, all of them asymptomatic, claimed they had been incorrectly tested and through the panchayat president demanded a re-test. “The president told us that if we arrange for a retest, the villagers would return,” a health official said.

The revenue officials, later in the evening, apprised Collector M. Govinda Rao of the incident. “The Collector has ordered us to create awareness of the illness and its symptoms on Saturday. If the patients still do not return, further action will be taken,” the official said, and ruled out re-tests.

The patients must undergo treatment after which another test will be conducted, the official added.

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 6:03:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/villagers-abscond-after-testing-positive/article32698608.ece

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