Nuh sarpanches claim deaths, rife Covid symptoms | India News

Covid numbers in Nuh, Gurgaon’s neighbouring district in south Haryana, have started to come down, official data shows. But illness in the villages isn’t, sarpanches say.
The heads of several villages in the district said Covid-like symptoms had manifested in scores of residents, who have not got tested. They also claimed several deaths had taken place after people reported fever and breathing distress, reports Shubhra Pant.
Nuh has so far officially reported 64 Covid deaths – 9 of those in April and 25 from May 1-16.
Ashraf, the outgoing sarpanch of Ghasera village, said at least 10 persons with Covid-like symptoms had died in the past week. “There has not been a single day in the last week when a villager hasn’t died here,” he said, adding every other household had someone afflicted by fever or respiratory distress.
If one goes by the data, Nuh has shown an encouraging trend. From 176 cases on May 6, the numbers came down to just 29 on Sunday. The district has a positivity rate of 3.5%. But the sarpanches – all outgoing because their tenure is over and panchayat polls are due in the state – allege there has hardly been any testing in many of the villages where the pandemic is stalking households. Many of the ill villagers have turned to local quacks, who give antibiotics and steroids to treat the symptoms, according to local residents.
“Four people have died in my village in the past 10 days. Most of them had symptoms like fever and cough,” said Gopi, the outgoing sarpanch of Maroda. “We had two people with symptoms, and one of them died recently. Despite all this, no tests have been conducted here,” said Juhrudeen, the outgoing sarpanch of Alipur Tigra.
The village heads also said locals were reluctant to come forward and get treated in hospitals and health centres. For instance, Irshad, a former sarpanch of Chharora in Tauru, hasn’t got himself tested despite cough and fever for the past few days. Asked why, Irshad said, “I didn’t know I could get myself tested for free at a government facility.”
After testing, finding a hospital bed for those who need institutional care will be a major challenge, though. The medical college in Nalhar, which had been admitting patients from Gurgaon and other parts of NCR till about two weeks ago, is full.
Aftab Ahmed, the Congress MLA from Nuh, said, “The situation is extremely worrying. We have written to the government several times, but there hasn’t been any concrete action yet.”
Nuh deputy commissioner Dhirendra Khadgata refuted allegations that little or no testing was being done in the villages. “A survey is being done in all villages and we have been collating information on a daily basis,” he said. Khadgata claimed the government had been collecting samples of asymptomatic people as well to stop the spread of the infection as part of a screening exercise. On Saturday, he said, more than 700 households in the district had been surveyed by health teams.
Some villagers have been trying to create awareness among people to go to a health centre and get tested. “The district administration has reached out to us and we are now trying to convince people to get tested if they show symptoms. We are hopeful we will be able to stop the spread of the infection in the villages,” said Khatuni, the outgoing sarpanch of Roz Ka Meo.

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