To discuss the pertinent topic of the time, measures to tackle the spread of the second COVID wave in rural areas, the Centre for Habitat, Urban and Regional Studies (CHURS), Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi and Department of Social Work, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli organized a Panel Discussion with eminent panelists on “Rural Realities | Tamil Nadu Practitioners’ Experiences in Tackling the Second Wave”on May 22, 2021.
Dr. S Sathiyababu, Managing Trustee & Founder Director, Tamil Nadu Institute of Palliative Medicine of Scope India (TNIPM). He shared the insights he gained from VHNs who had surveyed the symptoms of all families under their division in the first wave. In the second wave, Village Health Nurse (VHN) expresses their discontent at the vaccine hesitancy.
Out of 1000 houses, 10 houses show symptoms, but they confide the news within the house fearing isolation. Now there is a growing tendency to hide news even from volunteers who reach out for help. They fear, but only in the last stage do they seek help. In the first wave, villagers set barricades in entry points and restricted pass-less entrants. However, now the villagers themselves enter towns to purchase groceries and come back without restriction despite lockdown. These are posing a severe challenge to the rural people.
Dr. S Sathiyababu commented on the need for convergence and collaborative effort in tackling the pandemic. Individual resources can be better allocated when there is a collaboration between departments.