By Siraj Khan, Nepalgunj, Aug. 12: Over a dozen people who tested positive for COVID-19 have gone out of contact and hid themselves from health authorities risking transmission of infection to their relatives as well as the whole community here in Banke district.
Naresh Shrestha, Corona focal person of Banke District Health Office, informed that those who cut contact by switching off their mobiles and hiding from health authorities include even well-educated teachers, college professor, government officers and media persons.
Shrestha said the act of hiding of the infected had not only delayed contact tracing but also increased the risk of community transmission of the virus.
He said that the search for the infected who had been absconding had now become more difficult as the health workers had to be deployed for management of the daily increasing number of the new COVID-19 cases in the district.
Six of the people whose swabs were collected on August 6 and the other six people whose swabs were collected on August 9 at the Ward Police Office have cut the contact after learning that they have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the health office.
Some of the infected are reported to have fled to India saying they needed to visit relatives.
The health office said it had been difficult for them to keep the infected in isolation as all the infected had kept their mobile switched off.
Besides health workers, police have also been mobilized to trace the absconding COVID-19 patients.
Hari Pyakurel, assistant Chief District Officer of Banke, urged those infected who are hiding themselves to come into contact soon because they were keeping their relatives and community in high risk of virus transmission and that it would be difficult to get treatment when health condition deteriorates for their violation of minimum rules.