Mysore/Mysuru: Now COVID-19 variant may be relatively milder than its more devastating predecessors but the efforts to tackle its spread have by no means been easier. Staff and volunteers at War Room and home isolation teams have to face rudeness and hostility of patients as well as their family members in most cases.
Many persons who test positive do not respond properly when the volunteers and health department staff deputed at 24×7 War Room make calls and they have to face rude replies. “The stigma has still not gone and misconceptions still prevail. People do not understand that the symptoms are mild in most cases now. However, we make our best efforts to minimise their anxiety,” said District AYUSH Officer Dr. B.S. Seethalakshmi, Nodal Officer for the War Room.
Volunteers said a widespread hesitation by COVID patients in sharing their details has been among the biggest obstacles that they face while trying to assist them. Many get verbally aggressive. The situation has not changed in the third wave.
Many people who are in home isolation hesitate to provide their addresses. “As per policy we have to provide home isolation kits to patients and to deliver them, we ask for addresses but people hesitate as they fear that their neighbours will come to know about their positive status. However, we convince them that we will come to their houses only to deliver the home isolation kits. Still people do not part with their home addresses. So it becomes a cumbersome exercise,” she said.
Also, most of the calls — over 80 percent — received at the COVID Helpline 0821-2424111 are regarding vaccines. “Now that the booster dose has been announced, people want to know about the availability, time gap, after-effects and also the vaccination booth time slots,” she said. District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. K.H. Prasad told SOM that due to communication gap and lack of information, many people who are testing positive are ending up in front of the DHO Office at Nazarbad. “We are appealing to them to call the Helpline 0821-2424111 where they will get all the information including bed availability in serious cases,” he said.