Lucknow : While the spread of coronavirus has stabilised to a certain extent in the urban and A-class cities of Uttar Pradesh, barring districts bordering Delhi, the infection now seems to be spreading in the rural belt.
The districts like Kannauj, Auraiyya, Farrukhabad, Unnao, Etawah, Sultanpur, Firozabad, Basti and Ayodhya are now reporting more corona cases.
Health experts claim that this is mainly due to the return of migrant workers, especially those who escaped medical screening or were asymptomatic.
In Kannauj, for instance, a mother-daughter duo who had returned from Gurugram, infected ten members of their family in the Galla Mandi area of Chhibramau, which has turned from green to orange zone now. Kannauj had reported 12 cases on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, three more persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Farrukhabad, six positive patients were detected in Auraiyya, five in Unnao and four in Etawah.
Kannauj Chief Medical Officer Krishna Swaroop said, "With this large-scale influx of migrants from urban cities to villages, the rural areas cannot be ignored and need special attention as far as monitoring is concerned. Infected people are being home quarantined or admitted to hospitals with the help of community management."
The district authorities have roped in block development officers, besides village heads and Civil defence volunteers, to take due care to avoid the spread.
A senior health official said that the situation is alarming in rural pockets where the majority of the people use one water sources -- whether a well or a hand pump.
"Migrants who have returned to the villages, are escaping quarantine centres and violating safety protocols. There is no resistance form the local people too, because most cases are asymptomatic," he said.
The official further said that social distancing was an alien concept in rural areas where people tend to collect even at the slightest provocation.
"Besides, the wedding season is beginning and social distancing will be hard to maintain. We can only step up the awareness campaigns and increase testing," he added.