Covid 19 update-Six ASHA, Anganwadi workers and sanitary staff in Odisha test positive
Six accredited social health activists (ASHA), Anganwadi workers, sanitary staff (sweeper) and some volunteers have tested positive for the coronavirus in Odisha underscoring the risk that the frontline workers in the fight against the pandemic face.
The six ASHA workers were engaged at a quarantine centre functioning in Marshaghai block of Kendrapara district that is now emerging as a Covid-19 hotspot with 89 cases. Kendrapara district collector Samarth Verma said though they were asymptomatic, their swab samples were collected due to their exposure to Covid-19 patients.
The areas where they lived have been declared as containment zones as part of government SOPs for containing the spread of the disease. “Active surveillance in these areas has been completed,” said the district collector.
On Saturday afternoon, millions of Odias in and outside the state sang “Bande Utkal Janani” in praise of these frontline workers, often called “Corona warriors” after chief minister Naveen Patnaik urged people to show their love and respect for the pandemic fighters. The Anganwadi and ASHA workers are the foot soldiers in the war against Covid-19 as they collect swab samples of the suspects.
The government has already announced a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to the next of kin of these Covid-19 warriors in case they succumb to the disease.
On May 27, two nurses working in a Covid-19 hospital of Balasore district had tested positive. The same day, two police homeguards in Ganjam district, too, had tested positive. A paediatrician in a government hospital of Cuttack, too, had tested positive early this week. On May 17, a sarpanch in Balasore district who looked after a quarantine centre, too, had tested positive for Covid-19.