The residents of Moram village in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district say that COVID-19 patients are not taking any precautions and allege apathy by government officials.

A family staying in a makeshift shelter in Moram village, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh
Coronavirus Coronavirus Friday, May 21, 2021 - 14:16

The fear of COVID-19 has forced several families of Moram village in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district to abandon their homes and stay in makeshift tents in open fields far from the village, with no electricity, and braving the rains and risk of snakes and other pests. The residents, some of whom have also moved to temporary sheds, allege that there are at least 20 COVID-19 cases in the village and despite that the government has not taken any effort to contain the spread of the virus.

“People are being callous and roaming around without masks,” said Jagadeesh, a resident who is now staying in a field along with his family. “The village is unsafe. The government has abandoned us. The authorities have not even sanitised the streets with bleaching powder. The residents are also very indifferent. Despite having symptoms, some are not getting tested or isolating themselves. They are interacting with everyone without a mask and not following any precautions,” Jagadeesh added.

Explaining his plight in keeping his family safe, he said, “I have three children, and there are two diabetic patients in my family. I’m worried about them. Fearing for our lives we have moved to this temporary shelter, even though there are no proper facilities here.”

Alleging apathy by government officials, another resident Raghunadha Reddy said, “We’ve been staying in the field for the last 20 days. In our village, we are surrounded by many COVID-19 cases.”

Urging the Health Department to create awareness about COVID-19 precautions and sanitise the village, Raghunadha said, “Unless the relevant authorities sanitise the village and create awareness amongst people, they cannot contain the virus.”

Meanwhile, after the incident came to light, mandal development authorities visited Moram village on Thursday to assess the situation. “We have already sanitised the streets twice. Now we are trying to convince the villagers to return to their homes. We were unable to find where some of the villagers have shifted to. They are scattered all across. But we will reach out to them and address their concerns,” said Vidya Sagar, Mandal Parishad Development Officer of Palamaner.