Siliguri man faces social discrimination after testing positive for COVID-19

Siliguri, 27th August: After a man living in Siliguri Haiderpara area tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday evening, his wife allegedly kicked him out of the house.

As per the information, the said person had undergone a swab test for COVID a few days ago. On Wednesday evening, he received a message on his mobile phone notifying that he had tested positive for the virus. When he told his wife about it, he was allegedly thrown out of the house.

As the man also owns a house in South Ektiasal near the Eastern Bypass area, he hoped to stay in home isolation there. But before anything else, his wife informed the locals of South Ektiasal regarding the issue.

Due to this, the locals panicked and did not allow the man to enter the locality when he reached there. With no place to go, he sat by the roadside for a few hours.

The residents then started protesting and blocked the road of Eastern Bypass. They even stopped all trucks and vehicles plying through the area and demanded the administration to take immediate action concerning the matter.

Due to the protest, traffic came to a standstill and the police reached the spot shortly after to take stock of the situation. After contacting the health department, the patient was then sent to COVID hospital in an ambulance.

In their defence, locals alleged that the person does not live in the area and lives elsewhere. They started that they asked him to go to the hospital upon his arrival but he refused to do so. Hence they called for the administration’s attention.

While several COVID Awareness campaigns are being held across the city time and again, promoting the need to uproot stigma, discrimination and social isolation from the society, however, in the current situation several COVID patients, as well as the frontline healthcare providers working in hospitals and laboratories, are being victims of the societal disapproval.

Although COVID-19 is highly contagious, we can protect ourselves by following preventive measures such as physical distancing, washing hands frequently and wearing a face cover/mask. Be a well-wisher to those in isolation/ quarantine and their families. Testing, isolation and quarantine are meant to protect the family and community.

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