The lack of proper medical facilities in rural areas is causing major problems for the residents of villages where some or many people are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.
The villagers state that due to lack of medical health infrastructure those experiencing symptoms have two choices- either to remain in the village or travel many miles to get tested.
Though the authorities have provided necessary services in some villages there are many villages especially in remote areas where people are suffering from fever and other symptoms while also experiencing the anxiety caused by uncertainty regarding the government response.
Kandali, Jeli, Margaon, Kumdi and Pali villages are some of the villages in Rudraprayag district where residents are facing problems. Dharmendra Bisht of Kumdi village said, “Our government is not addressing the crisis responsibly. Due to lack of proper medical facilities in our village people have to travel miles to get the medical facilities, Covid test and for vaccination. We had to call the chief medical officer of Rudraprayag several times for the covid testing as the villagers were having fever for a long time.”
He added, "We and residents of some nearby villages have to travel 20 kilometres for vaccination and due to that, unnecessary crowding can be observed at the vaccination centre. We want that the vaccination and testing facility should be made available in the government school of our village so that we don't have to travel so far facing the risk of infection."
Rohit Pundir of Kharched village said that for any critical case the villagers have to go to Srinagar base hospital which is about 35 kilometres from the village.
The people with mild symptoms are being isolated at their own homes and treated through the medicines given in the Covid kits or prescribed by a doctor.
Block Panchayat member Ajay Pundir of Bhyunta village of Rudraprayag district said, “Only a small number of Covid tests are being done in the village. We don’t have a proper medical facility. Villagers don’t have basic things like a thermometer and oxymeter to keep a check on the health of the people experiencing symptoms. The kits being provided to the patients contain just some medicines and masks. However, the contents listed on the cover of these kits include items like thermometer, oxymeter, masks, sanitiser and different medicines to recover so I don’t understand whether it’s a scam but whatever is happening with the villagers is not good.”
At Jaigaon village which is situated in the Duggada block of Pauri district, ten persons were found to be Covid positive a few days ago. The Gram Pradhan Sanjay Rawat said, “When we told our MLA that most people of the village are suffering from fever and that Covid test is needed here then we got a good response from her and soon a team came to our village for the Covid test. Now the Covid positive patients have been provided with Covid kits and are in home isolation.”