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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

In Tamil Nadu, a tribal settlement remains untouched by Covid-19

A tribal settlement of 150 people in Coimbatore district, Chinnampathi practised strict social distancing measures right from the early days of the pandemic.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai |
Updated: June 24, 2021 10:37:56 pm
As per sources, 65 families and 150 persons are currently residing in the village. Around 80 of them are above 45 years. (Express)

Even as the Covid-19 virus finds its way into every nook and corner of the country, a tribal village in Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu has managed to remain an outlier. Since the beginning of the pandemic last year, zero infections have been reported in Chinnampathi village.

The village has a population of 150, of which more than half are above the age of 45.

Senthil Kumar, a resident of Chinnampathi, said the key to successfully protecting the village from the virus lay in maximum awareness. The villagers were taught about the importance of maintaining physical distance and using some kind of face-cover to cover their noses and mouths in public even before the government initiated containment measures. Kumar’s wife is the president of the Madukkarai panchayat under which Chinnampathi falls.

“When we realised the virus was spreading fast in the state, the panchayat decided to implement strict measures. We kept a track of people moving in and out of our village for work. With the help of an NGO Namma Navakarai, we set up volunteers and prepared a list of members in each house. We were provided two vehicles by the authorities to take people to the nearby health centre in case of any symptoms. Anyone with even a mild symptom was given immediate attention. We provided Ayurvedic medicines to families for immunity purposes,” he said.

While the villagers built a fence on their own accord to prevent outsiders from coming in, the officials did their part by conducting medical camps and regular Covid testing, added Kumar.

Sandhya, another resident of the village and the first graduate from the settlement, told, “There is a ration shop located inside the village. Most of the people here do menial jobs and do not have to go out of the village.” With schools shut and no infrastructure for online classes, she has stepped in to tutor kids in the village.

The tribal hamlet, which shares a border with Kerala, suffers from a lack of basic amenities like electricity, water, and a regular transport service.

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