Bhubaneswar: While the most contagious COVID-19 spike continues unabated in Odisha, as many as 19 tribal villages in Ganjam district have reported Zero COVID cases in the second wave of pandemic.
The villages included Kiriamba, Badatanda, Nuapalli and Singipur in Karachuli Gram Panchayat, Khadalpalli, Mahulapalli, Karanjsahi, Dimirisahi, Masanisahi, Samalei, Pokasungha, Baradasahi, Bedhakhal, Nuapalli, Rabadagarh and Badapada in Karasingh Gram Panchayat, Kandarei village in Manitara panchayat, Talasar and Dahanipalli villages in Golia panchayat under Buguda Block in Ganjam district where not a single resident has been infected with the Coranivrus so far.
Even as the virus has claimed over 35 lives in the Buguda Block in second wave, above these villages having abundance population Scheduled Tribes have set an example for other villages.
With little knowledge about the deadly disease, the residents of these tribal villages surrounded by forests, streams and watercourses follow social distancing and prefer to stay indoors due to COVID lockdown.
The awareness and their unity and observance of COVID appropriate behaviour might have kept the villagers safe from Coronavirus, some analysts said.
According to reports, a few youth from these villages had migrated to other States in search of livelihoods. Last year, they had returned to their homes during nationwide lockdown. Though, the forest produces are the only means for livelihood, with imposition of lockdown again across the State, the residents are hardly found travelling to towns for earning.
The ASHA and Anganwadi workers are creating awareness among them about COVID-19 guidelines. With no soaps or sanitizers, the tribal people of these villages wash their hands with clay for disinfection. The poor villagers use their clothes as face masks to prevent spread of infection and maintain physical distancing while they are working outside their houses, a resident said.
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