Coronavirus outbreak: Spooked by quarantine, slum residents ditch COVID-19 tests

Updated: Apr 15, 2020, 07:39 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

Residents of Azad Nagar and Ektanagar slums claim civic doctors warned of immediate quarantine for entire families of those who get tested

Some of the residents went around the whole area on Tuesday morning to inform people of the camp
Some of the residents went around the whole area on Tuesday morning to inform people of the camp

Fear of their families getting quarantined led to many people in the Azad Nagar and Ektanagar slums of Kandivli skipping Coronavirus tests on Tuesday. Residents claimed they were warned of immediate quarantining of the whole family if they chose to take the test. While many got tested, spooked by the immediate quarantine, many left without one.

After six people from the slums contracted Coronavirus a few days ago, civic authorities set up testing camps on Tuesday. However, residents claimed that the doctors initially refused to test many people saying they don't have enough equipment. Later they apparently said everyone who gets tested must get quarantined along with their family. The doctor in charge of the camp refused to talk to mid-day saying she was not authorised to speak to the media.

A 30-year-old diabetes patient has had a sore throat and cough for the past few days. He took medicines from a local doctor. He lives in the same locality and used the same public toilet as the six people who have contracted Coronavirus.

"I told doctors at the camp about my discomfort," Durg Vijay Yadav told mid-day. "Doctors told me there is no need for a test and to take the same medicines given by my doctor. When I insisted on a COVID-19 test, the doctor said if I get tested, me and my entire family will be sent to quarantine right after the test. I got scared and left." "We made announcements about the camp so people who have cough, cold and a sore throat can get tested. But many were sent back by the doctors saying they don't need the test. Most of them live where the infected patients do," said resident Sirajuddin Ansari.

"We have quarantined those whose swab was taken, not the entire family. On Tuesday, we took swabs of 16 people. The camp also had sufficient kits," said an official from the R South ward.

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