DHARMAPURI: Only thirteen Covid-19 patients out of a total of 111 persons undergoing treatment in the district exercised their democratic right on Tuesday. Stigma attached to the illness is cited as reason for the majority of infected person not turning up to vote.
Senior doctors in the Dharmapuri Government Medical College Hospital they said, "As per ECI guidelines, on Tuesday doctors and Health staff visited patients in isolation in private and government hospitals to ascertain if they were willing to cast their votes. While a few patients came forward most people fearing stigma backed away."
Doctors added, "Patients asked us if we could not wear the PPE and not travel in the ambulance. They were afraid that when they reached the polling booths someone would identify them and refuse to interact with them after their isolation was completed."
Deputy Director of Health Services PR Gemini said, "A total of 13 people had cast their votes. Among them, six patients were from Palacode constituency, two each from Pennagaram and Pappireddipatti constituencies and three from Dharmapuri. Meanwhile, all Covid-19 patients from Harur constituencies did not choose to cast their votes."