Patients in hinterland of Telangana making multiple visits just to get a COVID-19 test

People waiting for their turn for a COVID-19 test at Community Health Centre at Siddapur in Sangareddy district on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: MOHD ARIF

Limited availability of vaccine as well as testing kits is proving a bane to the rural areas. Residents who are turning out in good numbers to get themselves tested and undergo vaccination are being left high and dry.

Take Janaki, a native of Siddapur in Sadashivapet mandal. Into her 50s, Janaki developed some symptoms and suspecting that it might be corona, she wanted to get herself tested and give no scope for doubts. She has been making rounds of the Community Health Centre (CHC) in the village. Though she arrived at the centre at about 9 a.m., she had to wait well into the afternoon with no guarantee that she will succeed in getting her sample taken.

A few metres away a makeshift shelter has been rigged up with green shade net from the wall of the CHC, in which more than a dozen people, including a family with a child, are waiting for their turn to get tested. All of them reached the CHC by around nine in the morning and were eagerly waiting their turn to get tested. There were a groups of people waiting under shade of trees nearby, who were keeping distance from others fearing contracting the disease from suspected COVID-19 patients.

Everyday more than 150 people land up at the CHC for testing and only the lucky 100 are able to get their samples collected as there is a limit on the number of testing kits supplied to the CHC. People complain that several visits to the centre turned out to be in vain as the counter would be closed by the time they reached it after hours of waiting.

Further, the CHC also gets a limited number of vaccination shots. They are expected to do only 100 shots and they are forced to send people back as the quota gets completed quickly. Many who wait in the queue for long hours find that the daily target has already been reached and the vaccination centre at the CHC is closed for the day.

“Earlier, on some days we used to test more than 150 people. But now the supply is limited and we are helpless. For vaccination, earlier we were allowed walk-in registration. However, now there are strict instructions not to entertain walk-in registration and everything must be online only. We cannot do anything if someone comes directly here for vaccination,” said a doctor, on condition of anonymity.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 3:56:40 AM |

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