After Sadiya’s death in spite of the anti-rabies treatment, panic has spread among the people who were bitten by the same dog in Manimajra last month.
“I could not sleep all night. The girl was fully vaccinated and was recovering, then how did she get rabies? I am worried for myself now,” said Naresh Devi, 38, who was bitten in the left leg.
About 15 persons, many of them children, were bitten by the dog on March 25, and all had taken ant-rabies treatment. Now all are apprehensive.
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Nine-month-old Kritika was bitten on the right shoulder. “She is doing fine, but has developed allergy on her scalp after the dog-bite. I am worried,” said Kritika’s mother.
On Wednesday, a team of doctors from the Sector 19 dispensary was asked to visit the dog-bite victims and check their health. However, people said that they visited only a few houses and contacted others on the phone.
“No one from the Health Department visited us,” said father of 4-year-old Aayan, a victim.
Sadiya, who died in the PGI late on Wednesday night, was buried at the Muslim cremation ground in Manimajra in the afternoon.
As she was taken away, her mother Imrana wailed, “I was told that she will get well soon, but she didn’t. Sadiya has left me all alone.’’
Sadiya’s mother had separated from her father six years ago. She worked as a domestic help to make ends meet.
Doctors advise that, ideally, family members of a rabies victim should not perform rituals which involve direct contact with body fluids in order to avoid getting the virus.
“So far, not a single case of human-to-human transmission of rabies has been reported,” said Dr Ahmad, an expert. “But why take a chance and become the first case in history?”
In Sadiya’s case, several religious rites, like bathing the body and cleaning of mouth, were performed by her mother and relatives.
A doctor from the UT Health Administration said, “We have told them that those who were in close contact with the child would need anti-rabies vaccination.”
Five-year-old Sadiya was a nursery student at the local D C Montessori School. The dog had torn her face and lips. She had got the anti-rabies treatment at the PGI and was discharged after a few days. Three days ago, she developed fever. On Wednesday morning, she was again taken to the PGI where she was diagnosed with rabies.
Meanwhile, Mayor Poonam Sharma said the Municipal Corporation would focus on sterilisation of stray dogs in Manimajra and the surrounding areas.
“A total of 503 dogs from Manimajra, Mauli Jagran and surrounding areas were vaccinated in April and 30 were caught today for sterilisation in the Sector 38 centre,” she said.
She wrote to Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, requesting for compensation to Sadiya’s mother.
Mayor Sharma slaps Sadiya’s ‘drunken’ father
Sadiya’s father Naushad, who had left Imrana when the girl was in the womb, came from Saharanpur in UP in the morning. Locals said he was drunk. Instead of being remorseful, he reportedly started shouting that Imrana had killed her daughter. He misbehaved with relatives who tried to pacify him. When Mayor Poonam Sharma arrived, he misbehaved with her too. But when the relatives told her that he had misbehaved with grief-stricken Imrana, the mayor gave him a tight slap and asked him to leave. “No man can treat a woman like this. I was told that he blamed Sadiya’s mother for her death. I cannot tolerate injustice against women, so I slapped him,” said the mayor.