Report by Badal Tah, Rayagada: After being in green zone till last Tuesday, 1st Covid-19 positive case has been identified in Rayagada district. According to Collector Sri Pramod Kumar Behera, a girl aged around 20 came back from Delhi by a bolero jeep alongwith six other passengers on 25th May. After registration, she was sent for home quarantine.
As she belongs to Odduguda village behind Basanti Filling Station, which is within the city limit, she stayed in her home for three days after which she moved to a rented house in front of Shelter for Urban Homeless(SUH) in Rama Krishna Nagar. In the rented house she stayed with her four family members including her mother, who is working in a small hotel at the bus station. On 28th May as she became symptomatic, her swab test was done and sent to RMRC, Bhubaneswar for testing.
Her contacts are being traced and both places where she stayed have been declared as containment zones as per a press briefing by the Collector. Behera has instructed the civil supply and municipal authorities to supply essential commodities and sanitization of the area from 3rd to 7th June, the entire duration of the containment. He has also instructed the health authorities to initiate line listing, contact tracing, active surveillance of all suspected cases along with swab tests under medical protocol. SP had been asked to deploy adequate police force around the containment zones. Tehsildar, Rayagada was given charge to handle law and order situation.
“Panic has struck into the general public of Rayagada as the girl broke the rule of home quarantine. Leaving her home at Aduguda, she moved to a rented house in R K Nagar, which is in the middle of the town. It seems, she moved with her sister in few crowded places of Rayagada. As her mother worked in a hotel in the bus station, where all kind of hustle bustle takes place, there is a reason for public to be panicky”, opined R R Gautam, an emancipated youth of Rayagada.
Odduguda is a very poor village having all tribal households. A few months back, this correspondent visited this village to find not a single household having latrine under Swacch Bharat Mission. There was also water problem. Independent rooms are hardly there, where one can seclude oneself from others. No connecting road to this village because of a land problem. In spite of all these issues, the reason for sending the girl for home quarantine is best known to the administration.
Last Tuesday Deptt of I&PR, Govt of Odisha declared that the girl was in quarantine centre, whereas according to Collector the girl was home quarantined. These kinds of statements have perplexed the denizens of Rayagada. The much declared Covid testing centre by RMRC, which was scheduled to be established by 23rd May, is yet to see the daylight.” There is a lack of logistics, manpower in the district. The engineer has to establish the bio-safety cabinet for proper functioning of the RMRC in Rayagada’, said Dr.Artabandhu Nayak, CDMO, Rayagada.
“There are many potential carriers of Covid-29 virus loitering in the district. One has to be really alert now. We have a myth that tribals have lot of immunity power. Masks, hand washing, least travel to markets, work from home, keeping away from toxic materials like gutkha, khaini, pan & liquor and other precautionary measures are sign qua non”, said Bidulata Huika, State Convenor of Odisha Adibasi Manch.