PATNA: Not a single Covid-19 case was reported from the slums of Patna during the second wave, whereas a huge number of cases came from VIP areas. Urban areas of Patna accounted for more than 70% of cases reported from the entire district.
A study by retired IAS officer KC Saha, published by the Patna-based Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), reveals this interesting fact that “none of the slums in Patna reported a single positive case of Covid-19”. The study titled “Learning From Covid-19 cases — A Sociological Study of Patna District, Bihar”, quoting executive officers of Patna Municipal Corporation, further states that of 7,300 sanitary staff, who mostly live in slums with their families, only two or three tested positive.
Asked what is the reason, Saha told this daily: “It is a matter of scientific probe but people who live in slum pockets are said to have stronger immunity than those who live in non-slum areas in comforts. It is a fact that none of the Patna slums reported a positive case”.
Saha, who served as chairman of Bihar Public Service Commission and had been the development commissioner, also found in his study that the virus in Patna did not spread entirely due to the large number of returning migrant labourers. Rather, it was caused by social functions and lack of awareness on preventive measures among the public.
In the study, Saha has warned that the infection can again rise during during the festivals months in October-November, when a number of people return home from other states.After interviewing nearly 200 Covid patients, Saha found that 90% were in home isolation and recovered in about three weeks. He has also recommended strengthening of the health infrastructure, including paediatric health infrastructure, in view of a possible third wave.
He suggested that disease surveillance and laboratory testing infrastructure should be ramped up, other than creation of a public health management cadre, data management in health facilities involvement of panchayats and many other measures.