People with symptoms of COVID-19 here have been going to the health centres for tests in the dark of night to avoid the social stigma attached to this disease.
The locals of Dudhauli Municipality have been visiting the health facilities mostly during the night for getting tested for coronavirus infection.
It is said COVID-19 is spreading wider and faster in the community as people are not readily coming for tests. The infected people are more fearful of the community than the disease itself due to the social stigma.
Dr Dhirendra Kumar Suda, the In-Charge of Sirthauli COVID-19 Hospital, said the risk of spread of infection is alarming as people showing symptoms stay home rather than coming for tests.
"During the day, it is quiet here at the testing centre. But when it is the night many people come seeking coronavirus infection tests. We collect the swab and send it to the laboratory. It is not necessary that all testing positive for the infection need to stay at the health facility," he said.
Dr Suda said that they have been treating the patients with serious symptoms and medical issues, keeping them in isolation.
A single infected person is found to have transmitted the infection to as many as 27 people here as the second wave of COVID-19 sweeps the area.
Health workers fear that the coronavirus infection might go out of grips as the locals seem to be negligent and they are going about their business as usual. They are working on the farm and moving around without following the health protocols.
"There are many people in the village who say that they are suffering from cough and cold, breathing difficulty, chest pain, and fever. Some have recovered but others are still sick. The fear of the community is more than that of the disease itself in our area these days," said a COVID-19 infected person who is under treatment at the Sirthauli Hospital.
According to him, people are also not forthcoming coming for tests as the Dudhauli Municipality has been putting up a sticker at the house of the infected person and people take it as a matter of shame.
Meanwhile, there is also the tendency here of people suffering from fever, headache, body ache and cough, and cold taking the over-the-counter medicine for typhoid, without undergoing health examination.