Today, on behalf of GASS, we have requested the Government of Odisha to take safety measures for tribals from spread of COVID 19 virus. The tribals of Odisha particularly Primitive Tribal Group (Bonda, Dongaria and Pawadi Bhuyan etc) are more vulnerable to spread of any virus because of lack of immunity.

The special feature of COVID 19 is pneumonia and respiratory failure.

Tuberculosis (TB) bacteria is generally found in the lungs and causes pneumonia. Our tribals in Odisha are more prone to this TB because of lack of immunity. These districts are like Malkanagiri, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Mayurbhanj and Sundergarh etc where TB patients are more.

We got a report where countries of the sub-Saharan Africa are taking special measures regarding COVID 19 because TB patients are more in this region.

If a tribal come in contact with any COVID 19 patient then he/she would be immediate carrier of the virus to his/her community. Because of lack of immunity and prone to such pulmonary diseases that carrier would affect entire community quickly.

We have suggested to the government that

1) The government should be vigilant so that none of the outsiders could reach to the PTG areas.

2) Any person presenting with new onset cough, fever and shortness of breath should be considered as a suspected COVID-19 case and immediate test should happen. The health personnel should be accordingly instructed. Until the test results come they should be counselled to stay in the hospital/centre.

3) All these TB patients who are taking medicines from DOT centres should be followed. Proper address should be taken and should be insisted to come every week to the centre.

We have requested the Chief Minister to direct both the Health Department and ST department to follow it up.
This letter has been signed by Golak Bihari Nath, President and Deba Ranjan, General Secretary of GASS.


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