BENGALURU: Volunteers who are in charge of home quarantine visits and have to check if the primary and secondary contacts remain at home for 14 days are facing verbal abuse and threats from residents, who refuse to quarantine themselves.
After the contact tracing team takes down the travel history of Covid-positive patients and finds out the addresses and numbers of their contacts, the information is passed on to home quarantine volunteers, who then have to ensure that these contacts remain at home.
“Family members of Covid patients quarantine themselves, but the other contacts do not want to admit that they interacted with Covid patients. They ask us to reveal the identity of the patient, but we cannot do that. We just give them the patient’s Covid number.
In one instance, as soon as we approached a secondary contact, he went on his motorbike and came back after some time. He told us later that he had gone on a ride and we could do nothing about it. That is how irresponsible people are,” a home quarantine volunteer from Mahadevpura zone said.
Another volunteer said, “We have even got death threats. The contacts threaten us saying that if we force them, they would harm us. Yet, we try to convince them. We are volunteers and we are taking time out to help people and to reduce the number of cases. But people don’t seem to understand.” Many of them are disheartened by people’s attitude and want to discontinue, said another volunteer.
“According to some of the zonal heads, an SMS alert is sent to the contacts saying they have interacted with a Covid patient, but they deny it. We have asked the officers to give us the proof of intimating the contacts that we can show to residents.”
Captain Manivannan, in charge of the Home Quarantine Task Force, said, “The highest positivity rate comes from contacts of Covid-positive patients. It is critical that the contacts stay indoors and isolate themselves, unless the test clears them as Covid negative. Otherwise, they may become culprits contributing to virus spread.”