AP: Villagers Barred From Using Public Transport, Public Water Taps Over Rumors Of Swine Flu
Rumour mongering in Andhra Pradesh’s Krishna district has left an entire village ostracized. The residents of the Chinthakolla village in the Krishna district are facing a social boycott by the nearby villages over the suspicion of swine flu cases. The rumour started to spread after there were two deaths allegedly due to swine flu. However, after the news of ostracization reached the district administration, the authority soon took action.
According to The Times Of India, a few weeks back, a young woman from Chinthakolla village allegedly died due to swine flu, this followed with the death of another person in the same village. The two deaths (Namcharayya, 45, and Mariamma, 32) in a short period, left the nearby villagers scared and confused.
This led to the unrolling of rumours of ‘deadly flu’ in the nearby villages. The surrounding villagers stopped entering Chinthakollu and even barred the Chinthakollu residents from visiting other villages.
Turning it into a social boycott, the neighbouring villagers also stopped Chinthakolla’s residents from using public transport including school buses. The fear of swine flu was to the extent that the villagers were even banned from using public taps to drink water because of the fear of contracting swine flu.
While speaking to the NDTV, a schoolboy from Chinthakolla village said “We are not going to school. No bus is coming. The principal has declared a holiday for us.”
Lamenting their woes the villagers also claimed that they were forcefully asked to get off the public buses. He said that that the daily suppliers like milkman also stopped coming to the village. All this lead to the food and water supply shortage in Chinthakolla, as reported by the NDTV.
The news reached to the authorities
However, when the news of the rumour reached district collector, B Lakshmikantham’s ears, he turned to be the saviour for the villagers and quickly took measures to dispel rumours. According to the villagers, on hearing the water shortage, the district collector sent tankers for immediate help. A medical team to check and clear the doubts of the villagers in the neighbourhood was also sent.
According to The News Minute, Dr TV SN Shastri, District Medical & Health Officer (DMHO) of Krishna District, said, “We have visited the village with a team of experts and have conducted all screening measures required.”
He added that the two people who allegedly died of swine flu were not confirmed to have swine flu.
He further said that he along with some officials from the health department conducted medical camps in the villages, which also tried to make people aware of swine flu; an infection caused by one of the several types of swine influenza viruses.
While talking about banned transport and school buses from children, he said, “Yesterday, we heard that the school bus was not coming to take children to school out of the fear of the spread of swine flu. So we called up the school administrators and spoke to them to ensure that the transport systems are effective again.”
A preventive medicine kit has also been distributed in the area, and the villagers were also taught precautionary measures. Meanwhile, the district collector has also reviewed the situation of the village and has conveyed that action will be taken against those who would continue to boycott the villagers.
The Logical Indian appreciated the authorities quick and steady measures that saved the life of many people. In the past, there have been several reports of swine flu cases in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, which is why it becomes more important for the concerned authorities to keep a regular check in the area for proper medical camps and also to discourages such rumour mongering.