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Punjab: Makha village shaken by 10 deaths in 26 days

In Makha, which has only 1,000 voters, everyone is now alert, even to minor symptoms of the infection.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
May 25, 2021 10:05:09 am
Testing for Covid-19 in carried out in Makha village on Monday.

The small village of Makha in Punjab’s Mansa district is shaken by 10 deaths in 26 days. Villagers said only three of the deceased were confirmed to be Covid-19 positive, but the others too were showing symptoms.

In Makha, which has only 1,000 voters, everyone is now alert, even to minor symptoms of the infection.

The deceased includes two office bearers of BKU Dakaunda — Kewal Krishan and Amrik Singh.

“The first death happened on April 28. Kewal Krishan, 70, who was the treasurer of BKU Dakaunda, died in Mansa civil hospital and was cremated as per Covid norms,” Sarpanch Charanjit Singh Makha said, adding that Krishan’s son Manjeet Kumar has now been made the treasurer.

Manjeet said his father had returned to the village from New Delhi on April 13. “He was a diabetic and his sugar levels shot up, for which he was initially being treated. By April 26, he had a fever. On April 28, his oxygen level dropped to 50. He died on the same day,” Manjeet said, adding that he is now being “extra cautious” but the struggle against the farm laws will not stop.

Amrik Singh, 68, who was village in-charge of BKU Dakaunda and an active member of the farmers’ union, died on May 1. He had a fever among other symptoms, but was never tested for Covid, Charanjit said.

Amrik Singh and Gurpreet Singh (File)

Saudagar Singh, 70 and Labh Kaur, 65, died on May 24 after testing positive for Covid-19. They were cremated on the same day following Covid protocol.

According to records, Kewal Krishan, Saudagar Singh and Labh Kaur were the only three Covid deaths in the village.

However, Charanjeet said six of 10 deceased were taken straight from the hospital to the burial ground and cremated as per Covid norms despite not testing positive for Covid. This includes Gurlal Singh (70), Jasbir Kaur (66) and Gurpreet Singh (42).

“As per the records, their RT-PCR tests were negative. However, they had Covid symptoms, and this was why their families followed protocol. Their bodies came packed in bags,” Charanjeet said.

Gurpreet Singh was Nambardar of the village. Before his death, he was breathless and had a high fever due to which he was taken to a private hospital in Barnala, from where he was being taken to Ludhiana but he died on the way, villagers said.

Mohinderpal, DC Mansa, told The Indian Express, “There are three confirmed Covid deaths in the village. We are already doing door-to-door surveys in all villages, and sampling is on in this village as well. It is sad if so many people died in less than a month.”

Sukhwinder Singh, civil surgeon Mansa, said, “Three patients were Covid positive in this village.”

Charanjeet, who claimed not more than three or four deaths occurred in the village in 4-5 months, said villagers should not take Covid lightly. “I advise everyone to wear masks, maintain social distance, have Vitamin-C tablets on a daily basis, and don’t ignore even the slightest of symptoms. Avoid self medication,” he said.

“So far, there have been three camps for testing in May. It is surprising that during sampling, people who have symptoms don’t turn up and continue to self-medicate. Villagers need to understand that such a high death rate in a small village is not a good sign.

“Now, hardly anyone goes out. We want authorities to test 100 per cent in this village,” he added.

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