In a disturbing turn of events, Pipra Bara Khan, a small village in Babhanjot block in Gonda district in Uttar Pradesh, has witnessed 17 deaths in the last 20 days.It is suspected that the deaths were caused by Covid-19, even as the villagers are unwilling to get themselves tested.Block Development Officer Pradeep Chaudhary, who visited the village after hearing the news, told IANS over phone, "I have visited the village and a medical team will be going there again on Wednesday. Most of the persons who died were elderly people."He also said that it is a matter of concern that so many people have died in the same village. The medical team has started testing the people in the village, but many of them are unwilling to get themselves tested, he said.Chaudhary also said that he has seen a few people in the village with Covid symptoms, as he put the death toll at 17.The village is more than 160 km from state capital Lucknow and lack of health facility is believed to be the primary reason behind the latest tragedy.The BDO said that if Covid cases are confirmed in the village, the standard operating procedures will be followed.
However, ex-village head Mohammed Sarwar said the situation is pathetic in the village hamlet of Badka Deeha, as 19 people have died since April 20, including two in a span of three days in the family of one Abdul Mannan.Sarwar said that soon after the death of Mannan, his son also passed away after only a few days' of illness, while his mother is also reportedly unwell.The locals said that many people are ill in the village but they are afraid of getting themselves tested despite having Covid-like symptoms. The list sent by the villagers claim that 19 people have died, while the condition of eight others is stated to be serious.As per reports, the district on Monday reported 109 positive cases of which 78 cases were reported from different villages. The district presently has 1,533 active cases. The nodal officer for Covid management in the district put the death rate at 1.3 per cent.While the locals are complaining that lack of testing and ignorance of people are the reasons behind the recent deaths, the BDO has maintained that the administration is making all the efforts to help the people in these testing times.