Fewer persons revealing COVID symptoms

Government teams conducting a door-to-door fever survey in Kandi Mandal in Sangareddy district.   | Photo Credit: MOHD ARIF

Inspite of the efforts by the authorities, considerably fewer number of people with symptoms of COVID-19 are coming forward to get treatment being provided by the government, due to fear of social stigma and ostracism.

For instance, 30-year-old Irfan (name changed), living in an apartment in the district headquarters, had mild fever for the past four days. He approached a doctor and took the prescribed medicine, unfortunately the fever did not subside. Worse, he recently developed breathing problems and not knowing what to do he sought the advice of one of his neighbours in the apartment complex. The neighbours, who got alerted to his condition, immediately directed him to a doctor who has been extending treatment for COVID-19 patients who are in home isolation.

In another case, a house owner who was in home isolation for COVID-19 and did not appear in public for a week, did not reveal his illness even to his neighbours or others fearing ostracism. Other residents of the complex got alerted to the presence of a COVID-19 positive patient following the secretive behaviour of other members of the family of the patient.

This situation is not confined to urban areas. The fever survey teams of Aasha and anganwadi workers found that even in rural areas people were unwilling to truthfully reveal their condition fearing the social isolation. Officials have learnt to deal the situation with tact and care as they realised the sensitivities involved in dealing with persons showing symptoms of COVID-19, especially in villages.

“We have completed survey in our village. We have handed over kits with medicines supplied by the authorities to those with symptoms. But we suspect that the number of persons with symptoms are more than those that came to our notice. It is not possible to forcibly enter into houses, unless and until the patients and their families come forward we cannot do anything,” said an anganwadi worker on condition of anonymity.

On the other hand the teams at village-level were not completely aware of whom to distribute the medicine supplied by the government. “We will give medicine to only such persons who have reported that fever persists for five days continuously,” said an Aasha worker.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 12:16:16 PM |

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