Hameeda Bee, who is believed to be over 100 years old, recently recovered from COVID-19 and returned to her residence in Thirupattur district after her hospitalisation. However, instead of being welcomed with relief and joy, she met with social stigma and fear over the coronavirus. Hameeda’s neighbours in Periyavarigam village near Ambur allegedly want the family to vacate the house and leave the area.
Hameeda Bee lives along with her daughter, granddaughter and great grandson in Periyavarigam village. While her family members believe Hameeda is 130 years old, health department officials say she is around 110 years of age, says The New Indian Express. Hameeda may perhaps be India’s oldest COVID-19 survivor.
According to Times of India, Hameeda Bee complained of a cold and was taken to a primary health centre in Nariyampattu on June 29. Based on the advice of the doctors, her swabs were collected and sent for COVID-19 testing. On July 1, Hameeda tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was taken to the Ambur Government Hospital. The centenarian responded well to the treatment and she recovered. She was also discharged from the hospital and was sent home on July 12.
However, upon her return, Hameeda faced social stigma and ostracism by her neighbours. The neighbours allegedly told Sama, Hameeda’s granddaughter, to vacate their home and leave the area. They also allegedly threatened her of consequences if they refused to vacate their home.
Sama is quoted as alleging that neighbours had told them to leave the village but they did not have enough money to shift to another rented place.
Following this, the Tirupattur Collector promised protection for the family. Ambur MLA Vilwanathan of the DMK visited Hameeda and her family members. The MLA then handed over Rs 5,000 aid and groceries for the family.
Tirupattur district currently has 188 cases of coronavirus. As of Tuesday, Tamil Nadu reported 4,526 cases of COVID-19 taking the total number of patients in the state to 1,47,324. The state has 47,912 active cases and 97,310 people have been discharged following recovery.