11 Covid-19 suspects died in a rural municipality in 10 daysJagarnathpur Rural Municipality in Parsa has urged authorities to dispatch a team of medical specialists after scores of villagers were down with coronavirus-like symptoms.
The health authority, in coordination with the district administration office in Parsa, has started Covid-19 testing after 11 people died and scores of villagers were taken ill in Jagarnathpur Rural Municipality in the past 10 days.
A joint team of health workers dispatched from Birgunj and officials from the local unit visited the affected settlements and checked on the patients’ health situation on Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to Pravendra Prasad Sah, the health unit chief of Jagarnathpur Rural Municipality, health workers collected the swabs of 25 corona suspects and conducted antigen tests of 11 other patients in Jagarnathpur-5.
“Seven out of 11 fever patients who underwent antigen tests tested positive for Covid-19. The swabs have been sent to Narayani Hospital in Birgunj for Polymerase Chain Reaction test,” said Sah.
The results of the PCR tests are yet to arrive.
The health unit of Jagarnathpur Rural Municipality wrote to the District Administration Office, District Health Office and Narayani Hospital on Monday, urging them to dispatch a health team of medical specialists after scores of villagers were down with coronavirus-like symptoms.
“As many as 173 people have been suffering from fever at Chiljhapati settlement,” Sah said.
Most of the villagers were reluctant to get tested for fear of being taken to an isolation ward in Birgunj.
“Some of the patients fled to the fields and refused health check-ups. We convinced them to return home and get themselves tested,” Sah told the Post over the phone.
According to him, health workers have distributed medicines to the patients.
In Jagarnathpur, 11 people have died of Covid-19 complications in recent months. A 35-year-old Covid-19 infected man from Jagarnathpur-1 died in the course of treatment at Narayani Hospital on Tuesday morning.
According to Dr Saroj Roshan Das, the coordinator at the Covid-19 ward in Narayani Hospital, the deceased man was admitted to the hospital on May 4. “The man had no other ailments but was suffering from severe pneumonia caused by Covid-19,” said Das.
According to the rural municipal office, seven of the 11 deceased were from the same settlement and four of them had undergone PCR tests.
The local people of the municipality are now demanding mass testing but the authorities are yet to address their demands.
“The local unit has yet to conduct a mass testing of coronavirus suspects. People here still don’t know much about the coronavirus since the local body did not run any awareness campaigns,” said Shrikanta Yadav of Jagarnathpur-3. “Since there is widespread ignorance regarding the pandemic, the infected are deprived of treatment and medicines.”
Similarly, scores of people have been suffering from fever in Badhnihar and other surrounding settlements in Parsagadhi Municipality. Senior health officials are concerned, as the fever patients are taking antibiotics from the local clinics under the impression that they are suffering from typhoid.
Buddhi Raj Paudel of Badhnihar in Parsagadhi suffered from a fever last week. He took paracetamol for three days but the medicine had no effect. He went to a local private clinic and did a blood test.
“I am taking antibiotics after the blood test confirmed I had typhoid,” said Paudel, who is also a local trader. “There is hardly any house in Badhnihar and its vicinity who are not suffering from fever.”
Health workers, however, are concerned that the local people might have contracted Covid-19 and not typhoid.
“Many people in Badhnihar and other settlements are suffering from fever and cough. Typhoid, a waterborne disease, does not spread in such a way. We suggested local health workers provide medicines and follow the health security protocols of coronavirus disease,” said Chandra Bhusan Singh, the medical officer at Bageshwori Health Post in Parsagadhi-6.
According to Ramu Sharma, a local resident of Badhnihar, three villagers have died of Covid-19 since April this year and five others are in ventilators now.
“The villagers suffering from fever for the past few days think they have typhoid. But it is not clear whether they are merely suffering from typhoid or have contracted Covid-19. The authorities concerned are yet to conduct tests for Covid-19 in the area,” said Sharma.
Kameshwor Chaurasiya, chief at the District Health Office, did not want to comment on the health situation of Jagarnathpur and other settlements despite repeated requests.