Covid-19 risk increases in Gorkha as prohibitory orders are relaxedCollective paddy transplantation and local festivals have contributed to the spread of the virus in the community.
The risk of Covid-19 infection has been on the rise in several places of Gorkha for the past two weeks since the district administration eased prohibitory orders.
Social gatherings and collective paddy transplantation works have further worsened the situation, health workers say.
Eighteen people of Chhapthok Hatiya settlement in Shahid Lakhan Rural Municipality-8 had undergone antigen testing on Saturday. Of them, 15 tested positive.
Similarly, 25 out of 31 villagers who underwent antigen testing tested positive for the virus on July 15.
“More than 40 villagers at Chhapthok Hatiya are now suffering from common cold and showing symptoms similar to that of Covid-19. Some people were down with coronavirus symptoms for the past two weeks but we were not informed about it,” said Birendra Shrestha, the health unit chief at the local unit. “The virus is spreading in the settlements now.”
According to him, swab samples of 55 local people were collected on Saturday for Polymerase Chain Reaction tests. The reports are yet to come.
“It is a busy season for farmers. Most of them are doing collective farming during the plantation season and this has contributed to the spread of the virus in the villages. The risk of Covid-19 spread is high since the villagers are also participating in various local festivals,” said Shrestha.
The district authorities have eased the prohibitory orders since the past two weeks, allowing the operation of public transportation, government offices and financial institutions.
Health workers say that the crowding of public offices by service seekers at the end of the fiscal year in the second week of July also contributed to the spread of the virus. Many employees of government offices and financial institutions have been found infected with the disease.
Seven employees of Dharche Rural Municipality and eight employees at the Bhachchek branch of Rastriya Banijya Bank in Ajirkot Rural Municipality tested positive for the coronavirus in the past two weeks.
“There was a huge flow of service seekers at the bank in the last week of the fiscal year, increasing the risk of Covid-19 spread,” said Suresh Dawadi, the health unit chief of Ajirkot Rural Municipality.
According to Nabaraj Khadka, information officer at the District Health Office, the infection rate stands at around 27 percent in the rural areas of the district.
“The movement of people has increased with the relaxation of the prohibitory orders. Health safety protocols are not being followed in public transportation and no social distancing measures have been adopted while working collectively in paddy fields. As a result, the number of Covid-19 cases is gradually increasing,” said Khadka.
Seventeen of 29 people who underwent PCR testing at Kalleri settlement in Aarughat Rural Municipality-6 tested positive for Covid-19 on July 15.
Bijaya Shrestha, the health unit chief at the local unit, says that the virus is spreading rapidly among the villagers working in paddy fields.
“We ask people suffering from common cold and fever not to go to the field but they ignore our requests,” he said.