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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Rohtak village grapples with Covid, ‘mystery fever’ talk as 18 die in 10 days

The deaths have prompted the district administration to begin setting up a Covid centre in the village, around 60 km from Delhi, the first such centre in rural Haryana.

Written by Sukhbir Siwach | Chandigarh |
Updated: May 11, 2021 7:12:16 am
Rohtak covid cases, Rohtak covid death, Rohtak Covid, Rohtak mystery fever, Rohtak cornavirus newsArya Samaj activists take out a ‘havan yatra’ in Titoli village, believing it will keep the coronavirus away. (Express photo by Manoj Dhaka)

With at least 18 deaths in the past 10 days, Titoli village in Rohtak district of Haryana is on the edge. While six of these deaths, confirm health officials, are related to Covid, villagers claim the count is much more. According to them, around 40 people have died of a “mystery fever” in the past two weeks.

The deaths have prompted the district administration to begin setting up a Covid centre in the village, around 60 km from Delhi, the first such centre in rural Haryana.

“Last week, I prepared a list of 32 persons who died recently. After that, the village has been witnessing an average of two deaths a day due to high temperature,’’ says Suresh Kumar, who was speaking on behalf of his sister-in-law Pramila, the village sarpanch. ‘‘People from all age groups have fallen victim to this fever. As many as six persons who died after a bout with fever were below the age of 35.”

Dismissing these figures as “exaggerated”, health officials admit the village is in the grips of the pandemic. On Monday, 15 out of 75 people who tested for the virus were found Covid positive. In the past 10 days, 159 of the 746 people tested from Titoli and neighbouring villages were found positive.

“This time coronavirus is spreading more in villages as compared to the previous year. There is more social interaction among villagers as they meet over hookah apart from playing cards together. We are collecting samples from all villages of the district to find out the impact of the fever. Now whenever we come across anyone with fever, we conduct a Covid test,” says Rohtak’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Anil Birla.

On the Covid deaths in Titoli, he says, “Besides Covid, some people died due to other illnesses, including jaundice, and of cardiac attack.” According to the CMO, positivity rate in Rohtak has shot up to 14 per cent this month, up from around 5.2 per cent earlier.

The deaths have set the alarm bells ringing in this village of 13,000 population. The sarpanch has started an awareness drive, in which villagers are being asked to take precautions through the public address system. “Normally, they like to meet daily but we can see they have now started exercising restraint,’’ says Suresh Kumar.

The 20-bed Covid centre, being set up in an Arya Samaj building in the village, will be ready in two days. The villagers claim they have not received any help from either the ruling BJP or opposition Congress leaders. ‘‘But we are satisfied with the efforts being made by the administration to check the virus,” says Suresh Kumar.

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