With no Covid-19 isolation facility available near their habitation, some tribals in an interior village in Telangana spent few days in a forest after testing positive for Covid.
A group of 14 tribals isolated themselves in the forests near Yatnaram village in Mahamutharam mandal of Jayashankar Bhupalapally district.
District officials persuaded them to move to a government-run facility after the issue came to light on Thursday when members of NGO Sanjeevani Seva Samithi was distributing groceries in the area.
After testing positive, the tribals belonging to seven families decided to isolate themselves to ensure that others are not infected. Since there was no government-run facility nearby, they erected makeshift tents outside the village in forests and were living there since last week.
While some tribals were provided with food by the family members living in the village, others were cooking the meals in open area.
District Collector S. Krishna Aditya, along with mandal level officials, rushed to the spot and persuaded the tribals to move to a Covid isolation centre set up in a government primary school. Officials said the centre was set up for isolating and treating tribals infected with Covid.
The number of Covid cases is said to have gone up in the area during the last few days and the tribals who tested positive had no option but to isolate themselves.
Officials, however, claimed that the group of tribals which had isolated themselves outside the village were reluctant to get admitted to the government-run isolation centre despite repeated pleas.
The Collector said the villagers were staying willingly in the forest area so that they can go for chilli picking during the day.
Officials have urged the people to isolate themselves at their homes, if feasible, or to make use of the nearest isolation and quarantine centre set up by the district administration.
Last month, an 18-year-old youth in Nalgonda district spent 11 days on a tree after testing positive for Covid-19 as he could not isolate himself in his small home.
Fearing that he might infect his parents and sister if he stays in the house, Ramawat Shiva Naik set up his own ‘isolation facility’ on the tree near the house in Kothanandikonda village in Adavidevulapally mandal of Nalgonda district.
Using bamboo sticks, ropes and few other items, the youth had made a cot and tied it to the tree branches. Shiva’s parents used to keep his meals, water and other requirements in bucket, and he used to pull up the same with a rope.
After the issue came to light, local officials persuaded Shiva, an engineering student, to shift to a nearby government-run isolation centre.