Suspected COVID-19 Outbreak Among Maoists In Bastar Has State Govt Worried

Dantewada: Authorities are worried over the reported death of at least 10 Maoists either due to COVID-19 or food poisoning, in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh. Even some senior rebel leaders are suffering from the viral infection, NDTV reported quoting PTI.

“According to local villagers, naxals burnt the bodies of at least ten colleagues in the forest along the border of Bijapur and Sukma districts on Monday night,” Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava was quoted as saying.

“We suspect the deaths were caused by COVID-19 or food poisoning. But we are trying to get more details,” he said.

The SP said the police had confirmed information that around 500 Maoists had gathered near Pidia village two weeks ago and some of them consumed medicines and packaged foods that were past the expiry date. Following the meeting, several cadres complained of food poisoning or developed cough, cold and fever, Pallava said, citing inputs from locals, the report added.

Senior leaders of the central regional company (CRC) of Maoists were also reported to be suffering from COVID-19 and trying to bring medicines and vaccine doses to the interior of Sukma, Bijapur and Dantewada districts, he swas quoted as saying.

The infection can spread among locals due to Maoists, he claimed.

“Maoists do not follow any safety norms. They do not wear face masks and are holding meetings of villagers in interior pockets, ignoring social distancing. This negligence could lead to the spread of the viral infection among villagers in the interior areas of Bastar,” Pallava was quoted as saying.

He appealed to Maoists to surrender, saying they will be provided necessary medical treatment.


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