CHANDIGARH: On a day when 106 deaths were reported due to coronavirus in Punjab, many villages in Moga, Muktsar, Patiala, Sangrur, Bathinda, Mansa, SBS Nagar districts, have decided to not allow state health department teams to enter their villages for testing.
Villagers of Bhuttiwala in Muktsar had opposed the Health Department’s team which had come to collect the samples for Covid-19 testing and even passed a resolution to that effect which stated that unwilling and asymptomatic persons cannot be tested for the virus, while also raising doubts about the procedure.
A panchayat member said: “ We will not allow sample collection of asymptomatic and unwilling people. But will not stop anyone willing to undergo a test.’’
In a separate incident, a case has been registered against a 23-year old Ram Singh of Nangla village in Bathinda by the Mansa Police for spreading rumours about the pandemic on Whatsapp, as per sources.
Batala Police has also registered a similar case against few persons for stopping health workers from executing their duties at Hargobindpur due to spread of misinformation, as a result of which, multiple villagers are now refusing to get tested.
Meanwhile in Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s home district Patiala, a few panchayats of Ageta, Dhanauri, Dhanaura and Fatehgarh Chana have too passed similar resolutions.
"The health workers will not be allowed to take samples without our consent, they have to do sampling in our presence we will cooperate with them,’’ a villager said.
Reacting to recent developments, Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that delayed diagnosis is the main cause behind the state's high mortality rate.
As many as 67 per cent of all covid-19 deaths were due to patients reporting at the health facility for the first time after suffering severe signs and symptoms, he disclosed, adding that these cases then become
difficult to manage, leading to fatalities.
Pointing to reports received from districts about resistance in communities to sampling and testing for COVID, he said even symptomatic persons with co-morbidities have not been reporting to the healthcare facilities till the disease becomes acute.
Sharing a glaring statistic, Sidhu said that more than 50 per cent covid-19 fatalities in Punjab were reported among people suffering from diabetes.
The situation could worsen if the 'negative propaganda' against health workers isn't brought to a halt, he said and appealed people to cooperate with the state government in arresting the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, as many as 35 MLAs including Randeep Nabha and Parminder Dhindsa have tested positive for coronavirus in the state so far.