Irked by the district administration’s decision to declare Dirba slum in Sangrur a micro-containment zone, residents of the area pelted stones at a Health Department team that had gone there to collect samples of coronavirus testing. The slum was declared a micro-containment zone after five persons from there had tested positive.
Sangrur DC Ramvir said: “There are a total 360 people living in that slum and we had already done 50 per cent sampling in that area. However on Wednesday, people behaved in an erratic manner. They refused to give samples and even did stone pelting at health staff.”
He added,”They have a misconception that they will not be allowed to move out for 14 days and hence their daily earnings will be affected. But we told them that the day their sample report comes out negative, they can go out for work.”
On August 22, villagers of Chhatha Nanhera had got announcements made through the village gurdwara done that they will not give samples and will gherao the health team if it came. The DC had then held a meeting with the village heads and asked them to educate people, after which the problem was sorted out.
About the Dirba incident, Civil Surgeon Dr Raj Kumar said, “They have some misconceptions about the test. We have asked a local leader to persuade them to give samples.”
The DC added,” Now, five persons at one time will be taken in hospital vehicles to Civil Hospital where they will give samples. This is how we have made them agree to give samples. Sampling will be done in 2-3 days this way, which otherwise would have happened in a day only.” It is mandatory to do 100 per cent sampling in a micro- containment zone.
In a related incident in village Bachhoana in Budhlada constituency of Mansa, farm unions gheraoed the mobile team of Health Department as they arrived pick up a Covid positive patient. Villagers raised slogans against Punjab government and prevented the positive patient from being taken to the hospital. The heath team had to return empty handed.
In Sangrur, while the DC claimed that he had taken panchayats into confidence to allow health teams to taking samples, the Nagar Panchayat said that they will get patients treated themselves and not allow health teams to take Covid patients away for treatment.
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