Virus situation worsens among PVTGs

Bonda Hill now a containment zone

May 16, 2021 10:22 pm | Updated 10:22 pm IST - BHUBANESWAR

The COVID-19 situation appears to have worsened in certain areas inhabited by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in Odisha.

As many as 23 persons belonging to the Dongria Kondh community, a PVTG in the Niyamgiri Hill range of Rayagada district in Odisha, have tested positive for COVID-19. The district administration said the infection level was high in the community as the tribals were shying away from getting tested.

Similarly, in Malkangiri district, Bonda Hill, home to the Bonda community, another PVTG, has been declared as a containment zone after 12 from the tribe tested positive for COVID-19.

The infections detected among the PVTGs in the second wave of COVID-19 has rung alarm bells in the administration.

“We are facing difficulties in convincing members of the Dongria Kondh community to come for tests. According to the information reaching us, many in the community are symptomatic. The situation is likely to worsen,” said Saroj Kumar Mishra, Rayagada Collector.

Mr. Mishra, however, said rapid response teams, community elders and social activists would be roped in to convince the members to come to camps for testing.

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