COVID-19 cases in rural areas on the upswing  08/02/2020 03:11:29  2

The District Government Hospital in Sangareddy where COVID-19 tests are carried out.   | Photo Credit: MohdArif

There is an alarming rise in the number of COVID-19 cases being reported from rural areas, especially in villages close to highways and well-connected areas rather than in the interiors.

According to sources, about 100 cases are being reported from Sangareddy district every day of late. Patancheru, Ameenpur, Sangareddy, Sadashivapet and Zaheerabad have been reporting higher number of cases.

The same was case with towns like Toopran and Medak in Medak district. People having access to transport have become more vulnerable. In Medak district, most cases were reported from one particular community. It is somewhat surprising. We found out that a majority of them had attended marriage ceremonies and birthday parties, thereby becoming carriers of the virus. The community is a forward one and educated, said an officer on condition of anonymity. In many mandals, cases were reported from more than five villages indicating the increasing spread in rural areas.

Officials suggest Sangareddy being in the middle of both Hyderabad and Bidar of Karnataka was one of the reasons for the spike in cases. Travel restrictions were imposed for some time in borders of Hyderabad and Bidar, but they are not being implemented seriously. Interior Narayanakhed area has been reporting fewer cases compared to other areas in the district.

Medak district has been registering over 20 cases per day, as opposed to the earlier single-digit figures. Officials admit that it was the result of scaling up testing. Besides, more people have been coming forward voluntarily to get tested at the facilities created by the government. As some of them had furnished false addresses over fears of being stigmatised, the authorities have been collecting phone numbers of the persons to be tested and verifying it through one-time password (OTP).

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