Dongria Kondhs undergo test, Khadias isolated in Odisha

After much reluctance, Dongria Kondhs of Rayagada district agreed to undergo Covid-19 test on Tuesday.

Published: 19th May 2021 08:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2021 08:53 AM   |  A+A-

Swab samples being collected from Dongria tribals at Parsali village on Tuesday

Swab samples being collected from Dongria tribals at Parsali village on Tuesday | Express

By Express News Service

BERHAMPUR/BARIPADA: After much reluctance, Dongria Kondhs of Rayagada district agreed to undergo Covid-19 test on Tuesday. The local administration organised two testing camps at Parsali under Kalyansinghpur block and Bissamcuttack where 19 and 62 swab samples were collected respectively. Test reports are awaited. 

A Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG), Dongrias are spread across Bissamcuttack, Kalyansinghpur and Muniguda blocks. While infections have been reported from Bissamcuttack and Kalyansinghpur, Dongrias in Muniguda are yet to be affected by Covid-19.

Earlier on Monday, the tribals in Parsali village of Kalyansingpur and Gandili village of Bissamcuttack block had refused to undergo tests citing various reasons. “The Niyam Raja will keep all of us safe from any disease”, said president of Niyamgiri Surakhya Manch (NSM), Sakaka Ulaka.

Meanwhile in Baripada, the local administration has initiated awareness drives for the PVTGs about Covid-appropriate behaviour and need to get tested. In the last one week, 18 persons belonging to the Khadia PVTG community have tested positive for Covid-19.

A week back, two Khadia tribals of Lalpani village under Shamakhunta block visited Rangamatia CHC for a checkup after suffering from fever and cough. When this came to the notice of health officials, they tested another 40 people of the village and 16 of them were found infected, informed Dr Uttma Kumar Das, who led the testing team. There are around 25 Khadia families in the village. All the infected persons are under home isolation and contract tracing is underway.

It is suspected that the tribals might have come in contact with people at the Rangamatia weekly market leading to their Covid-19 infection. Dr Das said masks have been provided to PVTGs in Kakarpani, Kochilaghati, Tarajoid, Godipokhari and Lulung and they were asked to get tested if they show symptoms and avoid visiting rural haats.

144 Bondas tested
Malkangiri: Collector Yedulla Vijay and CDMO Prafulla Nanda visited Mudulipada on Tuesday and urged the Bonda tribals to follow Covid norms and come forward to get tested if suffering from symptoms. The Collector informed that owing to the Covid situation, all essentials will now be made available in the Bonda Hill itself and the tribals do not have to visit haats in the plains to buy grocery and vegetables. On the day, 144 tribals were tested. CDMO informed that a special drive has been started to test all the Bonda tribals. Those showing symptoms will be kept in the Mudulipada TMC till their test reports are received. This apart, a door-to-door survey will begin from May 24 and continue till June 3 to screen tribals showing symptoms.


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