Updated: Aug 14
Q: What is the Gram Panchayat's role in facilitating testing?
Sarpanch: The Gram Panchayat is active, and I am usually informed by the Anganwadi Workers, ASHAs and teachers about suspected cases. They are immediately sent for diagnosis.
There are also people who themselves call on the Primary Health Centre for testing.
Q: What is the prescribed process to follow from an instance of COVID-19 symptom to the treatment?
Sarpanch: As soon as we get to know about COVID-19 symptoms in a person, they are home quarantined. Blood samples are sent to the District Hospital for diagnosis. If the report is positive, the person is shifted to the hospital.
Q. Have there been any instances where COVID-19 patients have been discriminated against?
Sarpanch: Yes, sometimes the district hospital has not taken a sample. It takes a lot of time, when we call; the response is not quick. [Accountability Initiative did not independently confirm if there were cases of discrimination. A lack of response can also be because District Hospitals are overburdened]
This interview was conducted with a Sarpanch in Vaishali, Bihar in Hindi on 15 July 2020, and has been translated.