Workers returning home face ‘social boycott’, some rush to get ‘no-corona certificates’ from hospitals
Bareilly: Indra Kumar, 62, felt “disowned” by his family and close friends when he returned home from Noida. It took a posse of policemen and a certificate from Shahjahanpur health authorities– declaring him medically fit — to reclaim the lost faith.
Like Kumar, lakhs of daily-wage workers, who have been laid off by their employers in Delhi and other parts of country and are returning home, are being met with suspicion from their family members and close friends with whom they grew up. Due to the on-going lockdown and almost absent public transport system, hundreds of workers walked several kilometres to reach their home, only to face what some described “disheartening” situation.
“There was a time when my friends used to wait for me to come home. We used to spend days together. But now, the same friends are scared of me, they are not even talking to me. I was asked to get a no-coronavirus certificate before entering the village. Amid uncertainty about our future after losing work, the behaviour of our own people is really disheartening,” Kumar said over phone. A resident of RC Mission area of Shahjahanpur, Kumar worked at a private factory in Noida.
When contacted, emergency medical officer Dr Mohammed Meeraz at Shahjahanpur medical college told TOI, “Several patients are being sent to the hospital just because they were coughing or have returned from other districts. Since we cannot give any medical certificate, we are simply writing on their patient slip that their condition is normal.”
Similarly, administrative and health officials received several distress calls from villagers asking them to treat those who have returned from other states. A few villagers even dialled emergency ambulance service and police helpline 112 and asked them to take away people to the hospital for the treatment for coronavirus.
Sunandu Sudhakaran, SDM of Dhaurahra tehsil in Kheri district, told TOI, “We are receiving several calls from villages. People are asking us to conduct health check-up of people who have returned from cities.”
“People were advised to call the medical services if they find someone ill and displaying the symptoms of Covid-19. In case if someone is trying to create panic and disturb the social life of people who have returned from other states then appropriate action would be taken,” a police officer said.
Teams of health department along with administrative officials are visiting several villages every day and sharing the ways to fight against this disease.