Ludhiana (Punjab) [India], May 26 (ANI): Residents of a Ludhiana village have said that it is wrong to assume that COVID-19 is spreading from villages and no such case has been reported from farmers who have returned from Delhi after protesting against new farm laws.
They also said that the villages are relatively more open, houses are bigger and people take good diet and it is not easy for coronavirus to affect them. However, a top local administration said that Punjab government is trying its best to improve healthcare facilities in villages and also noted that there is also lack of awareness about coronavirus in rural pockets.
Residents of Ludhiana’s Tharike said there has been no COVID-19 case in the village.
Gurpreet Singh, a local, said coronavirus cases are being reported for over a year now and he recently heard that many people were not able to avail of medical oxygen, hospital beds for their treatment but there was no case in the village.
“Luckily, our village has not reported a single case so far. The immunity of our people is strong,” he said.
Singh also said that “misinformation is being spread that cases were rising due to ‘Kisan Andolan'”. “There is an attempt to curb the impact of the farmers’ agitation for the repeal of the new agriculture laws,” he said.
Others in Tharike referred to lack of medical facilities in the village but echoed Singh’s claim about “no COVID-19 cases”. A few locals even bizzarely refused to accept that there is COVID-19 disease.
Malkeet Singh, another villager, said people used to have cold and cough even before the pandemic and “nothing happened to them”. “Many people fear going to hospitals nowadays due to a lack of infrastructure. They fear they can die because of lack of facilities at the medical centre,” he said.
He alleged attempts to target farmers’ protests by “spreading misinformation about the pandemic”.
Sukhbir Singh, another resident said, said that villagers have good immunity and may not need vaccine.
He alleged that “false news” is being spread to curb farmers’ protest. “Not even a single person in our village tested positive after returning from the protests,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana Virendra Sharma later said there is a lack of awareness in some rural areas about COVID-19.
“The positivity rate of COVID-19 cases has been reduced to three per cent in villages. The Punjab government is trying its best to improve the healthcare facilities in the village area. Many cases from villages are transferred to city hospitals. On our end, we are spreading awareness and providing them with ‘Fateh Kit’ filled with essentials”, he told ANI.
“We have made a control room to keep an eye on the villages in Ludhiana, in which we can keep a record of how many patients are there. We keep a track of who needs oxygen, a ventilator etc,” he said.
Punjab reported 4,798 new Covid-19 cases, 6,451 recoveries and 176 deaths yesterday, as per the state health department. (ANI)