Special survey to gauge Covid-19 suspects among gas victims

The district administration is all set to begin special door-to-door twp-day survey from Saturday to gauge the prevalence of the coronavirus among the Bhopal gas disaster survivors.

During the two-day survey to be carried out on Saturday and Sunday, sapling and screening of the gas victims would be undertaken. Gas tragedy survivors are among the worst affected by the fatal infection. As per an NGO working for the gas victims, nearly 75 per cent of the patients who died due to complications arising from Covid-19 in the capital city till June 11 were the victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. There are around 5 lakh gas victims in the city. The Gulab Singh Baghel, tehsildar, informed that before launching the survey and sampling for the gas victims, the medical teams underwent specific training. With adherence to covid-19 protocol and norms, the health teams will cover all the gas victims during the survey. The survey will continue for two days during which suspects and high risk patients will be thoroughly screened, informed the official.

Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA)'s Rachna Dingra, however, has termed the exercise as futile. "This scheduled survey is useless as government already has full list of gas victims so the authorities could directly approach them instead of launching survey and sampling on such a big scale."

No one who is suffering from fever, cold, cough, would come out for screening and sampling as corona fear prevails, she added. Identification of the high-risk gas tragedy survivors could be done by the six State-run gas relief hospitals and the ICMR-run Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre and the National Institute for Research in Environmental Health, BMHRC already has full list of diabetes patients, said the activist.

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