COVID-19 | Foreign returnees leave hamlet anxious

The health officials held a special camp at the Hakki Pikki hamlet in Mandya district to address fears of the tribals and educate them about COVID-19.  

The residents of Shikaripura, a Hakki Pikki tribal hamlet near Nagamangala in Mandya district, are anxious for the past few days subsequent to the return of some people from the community after a trip to South Africa.

This is given the fear that anyone who has a travel history to a foreign nation is susceptible to COVID-19. A good number of nomadic tribal community members at the hamlet travel overseas frequently. Recently, some of them had returned from South Africa. Consequent to a request from the elders at the hamlet, a special camp was organised on Saturday for the community members to address their fears as well as to educate them about COVID-19, said H.P. Manche Gowda, District Health Officer. No one in the hamlet showed any symptoms, the officer told The Hindu.

The population of the hamlet is about 350. Many of them often travel to Sri Lanka, African countries, and even to the U.K. to sell their medicines, spices and for offering pain-relief services like body massage. “The department will continue to monitor the health conditions of the residents, besides educate them on tackling the outbreak/spread of viruses,” Dr. Gowda said.

Members of the community said that they had stopped visiting the houses of those who returned from South Africa out of fear. They said that the news on television had created fear. Some members are still abroad and the government should thoroughly screen them at airports before letting them return to the hamlet, an elderly person at the hamlet said.

The community is one among the most socio-economically backward nomadic tribal communities in the country. It had been depending on hunting for centuries for livelihood. However, in recent years, they make a living out of selling medicines, spices and so on.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 4:43:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/coronavirus-foreign-returnees-leave-hamlet-anxious/article31085082.ece

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