A few months ago, residents who chased away doctors who conducted contact tracing exercise in the COVID-19 hotbed at Indore's Tatpatti Bhakal neighbourhood, are now flooding the doctors' cellphones with messages seeking health advice.
On April 1, a mob screaming 'maaro-maaro (hit them)' chased Dr Trupti Katdare and Dr Zakiya Sayyed out from the Indore's neighbourhood. Nine months later, Dr Katdare's phone is filled with messages from residents of the locality seeking advice, reported The Indian Express.
While Indore with 53,910 cases accounts for 22 per cent of the state's COVID-19 tally, the neighbourhood has not reported any positive case in the past seven months.
When the pandemic began, one man Abdul Rafeeq, 69, died a day after testing positive, and his funeral was attended by many in the neighbourhood. The two doctors were appointed to carry out contact tracing, and they put 70 high-risk ones in quarantine, even as another 138 tested positive the next two days.
Talking about the incident, Mohammad Sajid, a resident of Tatpatti Bhakal, who tested positive with six other family members and lost his brother-in-law to COVID-19 in March, confessed that it was because of misunderstanding.
"People feared that Muslims were being detained and put in quarantine centres unnecessarily. Besides, then no one understood what terms such as quarantine," he said.
A fortnight later, after the 70 people who were in quarantine returned to their homes and narrated their experiences, attitudes began to change. "The people gradually began to respond… Later, some of them gifted us plants," says Dr Katdare.
The district collector said that there is no need for lockdown in the neighbourhood anymore, as most people have developed an immunity.