Covid testing, meeting target mounting pressure on Corona Warriors

‘We are working under huge stress to reach target everyday. Unable to give time to family’

BIJAPUR; 05 April: The health workers, who are also described as Corona Warriors are complaining of working under tight schedules to meet the target of identifying Covid infected persons everyday.

 The officials of the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DHFW) says that the pressure is mounting on them after the state government ordered to double the Covid-19 testing rate per day.

A few weeks ago, the district health authorities hardly used to test 1,000 samples a day but after the surge in Covid-19 cases, which is believed to be the second wave, the state government has directed the district administrations to increase the testing rate. Now, the district health authorities of Bagalkot and Bijapur tests over 2,000 samples everyday from the last couple of weeks.

On seeking a condition of anonymity, speaking to express, a taluk health officer, pointed that, “The government has to stop giving daily targets. Before giving the targets, it should also think about the health officials and workers, who are working under stress from the past one year. It is very difficult to convince the people to go under Covid test especially with the stigma associated with the virus. We are even working on government holidays and on Sundays and not able to concentrate on our personal life and family,” exclaimed a health officer. 

Apart from Covid-19 testing target the government has also given the vaccination targets for the health officials of DHFW. There are over 500 health officials working around the clock in both the districts. The health workers in Bijapur are under more stress compared to Bagalkot as the district shares border with Maharashtra, where the cases are rising rapidly. 

A district level officer, said that, “The government has to provide sufficient manpower, so that, the work can be shared and perform without pressure. We are working like a robot from the past few weeks. It is affecting to our mental health and will also lead to the diseases in future. If the government continues same attitude – it will be difficult for health officials to work. We also don’t have any platform or freedom to express our concerns before the higher authorities,” expressed an officer of DHFW, who wished to be unnamed.  

According to sources, “The district administration has given the target to conduct of about 500 Covid-19 tests a day to each taluk health officer. This has brought the pressure on the health workers as they should also look after achieving the target of vaccination,” claimed officers.  

It may be noted that a taluk health officer in Nanjangudu reportedly committed suicide after he was criticized by the district level officer for not meeting the daily target in Covid tests. 

DC P Sunil Kumar said that, “I am aware of the pressure being faced by the health officials and workers of DHFW. I am in direct contact with all the taluk health officers and have given them a space to express their concerns and worries before the district administration without any hesitation.” 

“In couple of occasions, I have given the necessary facilities and manpower to the taluk health officers whenever there is a requirement. I am not putting any kind of pressure on them to achieve the target instead I am making them to realize their capability. The district administration is with the health workers and will provide necessary facilities whenever required. I have not received any complaints till date of health workers working under pressure,” stated DC Sunil Kumar. 

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