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Fighting the Spread of Covid-19: The P6 Case: Why Fighting the Spread of Covid-19 in Kalaburagi, Karnataka is Becoming a Big Challenge | Bengaluru News

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BENGALURU: “We have been successful in containing Covid-19 in Bangalore, but distant Kalaburagi is becoming a time bomb for us,” a senior health department official, who was busy organizing resources and reworking strategies to suppress the virus in places that has surfaced, he admitted.

But the big question is: why is Kalaburagi becoming a challenge that Bengaluru is not?

The IAS officer credited it to P6, the codename given to Khaji (a marriage counselor and priest) positive for the 76-year-old Covid19 positive who died in Kalaburagi on March 10. He had flown from Mecca in Saudi Arabia to Kalaburagi through Hyderabad on February 29. Preliminary reports indicated that Khaji had contacted around 300 people, including 45-50 main contacts before breathing for the last time, but the district administration, based on contact tracing, has placed some 1,200 Kalaburagi residents. as ‘low risk’.

In fact, the other two who tested positive for Covid-19 in Kalaburagi until Tuesday were the Khaji’s daughter and family doctor.

“The P6 case is an indicator of how a lack of awareness about Covid-19 along with other unfounded fears can derail strategies to combat the virus,” the official said. The Khaji, who had a history of breathing-related problems and had developed a fever upon return, was treated by his family doctor and in private hospitals instead of reporting to the Covid-19 cell established at the government hospital.

“He was popular in two mosques where he officiated marriage matters and civil disputes. When he returned from the pilgrimage, more people came to seek his blessings, as is usually done in rural pockets. Some hugged him and also received groceries and other gifts from him. Some shared watermelons and dried fruit with him from the same plate, “sources at the health department said.

Even after the man’s death, the district administration faced resistance from the local community. While the administration ensured that the latest rites were in sync with Covid-19 protocols, the community opposed many problems, including the shortened window for mourning and the use of chemicals near their home to prevent contamination. In fact, the local community viewed the district administration with suspicion and accused it of interfering in its practices.

Kalaburagi was the epicenter of anti-CAA protests in northern Karnataka and the minority community continues to view the administration as an adversary. Initially they did not cooperate with the district authorities on the Covid-19 front, ”said the officer, while explaining the reaction of the locals. What complicated the situation were the rumors in the community about the withdrawal of the compensation of Rs 4 lakh announced to his family. This angered the locals and they refused to compromise with health department officials.

“No one was thinking about the fact that they could be potential carriers of the virus and could actually be spreading it, they were still chasing officials away,” the sources said. It was only when the dead man’s daughter tested positive that the locals woke up to the threat.

Furthermore, the political leadership did not intervene and convinced the people of the imminent danger of Covid-19. With the district MLAs sitting at Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore, there is no one to convince the Kalaburagi masses of Covid-19. Although efforts are being made to prepare a list of primary and secondary P6 contacts, people do not introduce themselves or identify themselves, “added the sources.

The main priority now is to bring people to the confidence if the spread of Covid-19 in Kalaburagi should be controlled.

What happened to P6?

February 29: The 76-year-old man returns to Kalaburagi from Saudi Arabia through Hyderabad. House in quarantine since it has respiratory problems and fever.

March 5: Visit to a private hospital in Kalaburagi as an outpatient.

March 6: He enters the private hospital.

March 9: Sample taken for testing. By then he developed hypertension and was treated for viral pneumonia. He was taken to a private hospital in Hyderabad.

March 10: his condition worsened and he died.

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