Fear is haunting the people of Visakhapatnam for compulsory quarantine period of 14 days if one is infected with Covid-19 positive. Many people suffering from influenza-like illnesses, signs of Covid-19, are hiding their symptoms when Ward Volunteers are visiting their homes. Quite a few refused to undergo the rapid antigen test for Covid-19. Many of them are later developing severe acute respiratory infection and testing positive for Covid-19, officials of GVMC said on Friday.
Officials recounted their experience in one ward in Railway New Colony, where they visited houses in neighbourhoods that have seen multiple Covid-19 cases. “About three per cent of the people whom we asked whether they have fever or other symptoms of Covid-19 said they did not have any. Later, those people are having acute respiratory distress and getting admitted to hospital and testing positive,” said a civic body official. Later, when we asked them or their family members why they concealed their symptoms, they said they didn’t want to be isolated from society.
Another DMHO official said many residents of another pocket in One town area, who are in quarantine because they came in close contact with Covid-19 patients, refused to undergo the rapid antigen test for the disease. These people did not have symptoms. “They told us they didn’t want to be tested because if the report was positive, they and their families would be quarantined. Their major concerns are staying confined at home for 14 days and depending on caregivers for all supplies. They don’t want to depend on others,” DMHO official said.
Public health experts said the fear factor was at its peak now. “If we can’t allay the fear, then more and more people will conceal their symptoms and become critical. The only way to prevent this is counselling,” said public health expert Dr. K V Srinivas.
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