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Unmonitored home quarantine proving fatal in U’khand?

Sunday, 02 May 2021 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun

522 people have died in a period of six days from April 25 to 30 in the state

Is the unmonitored home quarantine of the Covid-19 patients one of the main reasons for a considerably high number of deaths in Uttarakhand? As per the experts the answer is yes. The state reported a whopping 122 deaths on April 30 which was the highest  number of deaths in a single day ever since the contagion started on March 15 last year.

The fatality of the second wave of Covid-19 in Uttarakhand can be understood from the fact that 522 people have died here in a period of six days from April 25 to 30. The death rate in the state is higher than the national average and the situation has worsened in the last few days. The data reveals that a total of 18,834 deaths have occurred in the country from April 25 to 30 and with 522 deaths during this period, the state has 2.77 percent share in the death from the disease. It is pertinent to mention here that as per the census of 2011 the state has a population which is 0.83 percent of the country’s population which means that more than three times deaths have occurred in the state in the last few days.

 Experts are of the view that the response of Uttarakhand government to the second wave of the pandemic was late and knee jerk when it hit the state with full force. A doctor working in an administrative capacity in a government hospital told The Pioneer that last year the administration had set up a large number of quarantine centres in towns and villages and the suspected patients and the returnees were kept there. He pointed out that there was some degree of monitoring in these centres and when some patients showed signs of deterioration in health they were shifted to Covid care centre and then to a Covid hospital. “This is not the case this time. When someone is tested positive he or she is asked to remain in home isolation. When the condition of the patient deteriorates in unmonitored home quarantine, he is taken to hospital and in many cases the lungs of patients are damaged badly and mortally by then,’’ he said.

 A doctor working in a health facility engaged in treatment of Covid-19 patients told this correspondent that the state had tackled the first wave of the disease in a much better way. “This time there seems to be no plan, everything is chaotic and it appears that the officials responsible for managing things have given up. The situation is grave and could worsen in coming days,’’ he warned.

Dayal Singh who tested positive on April 19 said, “I got no call from anyone in the last 12 days. I am managing on my own and even the medical kit was delivered to me on the fifth day.’’ Interestingly the health department which had pasted home quarantine posters outside the houses of patients and used to sanitise the neighbourhood of patients is undertaking no such activity this time.

“There used to be societal pressure on the person who was in home quarantine when a poster was pasted outside his house and people used to be more cautious,’’ said Amit Naithani, a resident of Defence Colony road area of  Dehradun.

The founder of Social Development for Communities foundation Anoop Nautiyal said that the high death rate in the state is a point of worry.  He said that the state government should take a close look at data and take necessary actions.

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