43 deaths in one month in Rajasthan village, villagers blame COVID-19

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Jaipur, May 19 (PTI) Over 40 people have died in a month in a village in Rajasthan's Ajmer district, a big jump in the numbers amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in rural areas.

Only seven of the 43 people who died had tested positive for coronavirus in Somalpur village, officials said on Wednesday. But villagers claim that many of the other deaths could also be due to the infection.

“A total of 43 persons, including 23 women, have died in Somalpur village in the last one month,' Dr Hukum Singh, in-charge of the health and wellness centre in the area, said, adding that all those who died were elderly people.

'Of them, four men and three women were coronavirus positive while the status of the infection in the remaining people is not known but all of them were suffering from different diseases like kidney or heart disease,' he said.

However, locals claim that the number of deaths is double than the usual deaths recorded in the village and suspected COVID infection as the reason.

Somalpur Sarpanch Choga Nath said that the population of the area is around 9,000 and on an average, 20-22 people die in a month in normal days.

“Double of the normal deaths recorded have occurred in one month's period which is unusual. Coronavirus infection could be the reason behind the deaths. However, nothing conclusive can be said because there is no test report except in seven cases,” he said.

Ajmer resident Shaukat Ahmad, whose relatives were among those who lost their lives, said the level of literacy and awareness is quite low in the village and it is highly suspected that they might have been suffering from COVID-19.

“Deaths have been occurring in the village for the last one month and people are scared now and staying at home,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hukum Singh said that vaccination is slow in the village because of the lack of awareness.

“We have organised seven camps in the village but the response remained low. There was almost no vaccination during the month of Ramzan,' he added. PTI SDA MA MA MA