CHENNAI: With around 5 persons testing positive in his street, 24-year-old Prasanna, a resident of Triplicane, got anxious and decided to get himself tested for Covid. He already had symptoms including cough and mild fever for over a fortnight. However, when he called the zonal officer concerned to inquire about getting tested, he was in for a rude shock.
In a recording of the conversation between Prasanna and the official, the latter is heard making inquiries of the patients details. When Prasanna says he’s 24, pat comes the reply from the official: “Covid won’t affect young people like you. If at all it does, it will leave your body in 14 days. Even doctors will tell you the same thing. Already there is no space in hospitals. Come only if you feel breathless.” This comes even as cases of deaths among youngsters continue to be reported in the State.
While the Corporation officials urge everyone, irrespective of their age, to consult a doctor and get tested for Covid even if they have mild symptoms, many youths allege they are getting responses akin to what was given to Prasanna. “The first thing the officials ask when we call them is our age. If it is below 30, they seem uninterested and ask us to stay in home isolation,” alleges R Vani, a resident of the same zone. “I live with my parents who have co-morbidities.
This neglect puts them at risk too,” says the 29-year-old. Dr Hariharan, Chief of Medicine, Stanley Medical College and Hospital, said, “It is clearly mentioned in the guidelines that everyone, irrespective of their age, must be tested if they show symptoms. The main complication of late admission is damage to lungs.
The rest depends on co-morbodities. But we strongly recommend everyone with symptoms to get tested as soon as possible.” A corporation official said those who have even the mildest of the symptoms can approach testing centres directly. “There is no need to call any official or helpline. They can directly approach testing centres, irrespective of their age.”