2 Haryana villages resolve to boycott Covid-19 tests, list reasons

Two village panchayats in Haryana’s Fatehabad district have passed resolutions not to allow tests to detect coronavirus to be conducted on the residents in these villages.

The panchayats of Tamaspura and Alipur Bharota villages unanimously passed a resolution on October 6 that their residents will not undergo a Covid-19 test. The resolutions signed by sarpanches Balam Singh of Tamaspura and Maina Devi of Alipur Bharota villages stated that government health teams would not be allowed to collect samples for Covid-19 testing from their villages.

Sarpanch Balam Singh of Tamaspura village said the resolution was passed after villagers asked the panchayat to ban the entry of health officials and refused to give samples for Covid-19 test.

“The decision was taken as all the residents in the village are healthy and they are scared that any asymptomatic health official, who has not been tested for coronavirus, can spread the disease in the village. Now, we are creating awareness among the villagers to appear for the test,” he added.

He further said that the villagers were also apprehensive that if anyone found infected in the village was taken away by a health official then it would cause an atmosphere of terror in the village.

Last month, Nakta village in the district had stopped the health officials and destroyed their Covid-19 testing kits when they visited the village to collect samples. The police had registered a case against the villagers for obstructing health workers on duty and for burning the rapid antigen test kits.

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The other village head Maina Devi of Alipur Bharota mentioned the same reasons in the resolution passed by the panchayat. However, she could not be reached for a comment.

A health official pleading anonymity, said the stance taken by the villagers was problematic as no one will likely come forward to take responsibility for any resident showing symptoms of the virus.

“Such resolutions were passed because of rumours and lack of awareness. It will take time to convince people that testing is more important to stop the chain of infections. Many people had shared rumours that the quarantine and treatment protocols are not good and there are no medicines to treat an infected person,” he added.

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Fatehabad deputy commissioner Narhari Singh Banger said he has ordered the district development and panchayat officer (DDPO) to issue show cause notices to both the village heads for passing such resolutions.

“The government is conducting Covid-19 tests to detect the spread of infection and to save people’s lives. I am surprised how a village head can pass such resolutions by ignoring the health concerns. We will take action against both the village heads,” the DC added.

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