Many people in the nine local levels of Bajura have developed COVID-like symptoms, but none of them is ready to go for test due to the fear of coronavirus.

Man Bahadur Bohora, a local of Borawada, Budhiganga Municipality, said many people in the village are suffering from fever, cough and cold.

"Feeling severely under the weather, a villager went for COVID test that came out positive. After that, nobody has dared to go for test for fear of being diagnosed with the virus," he said. According to Bohora, the sick ones are visiting private clinics instead due to fear that if they go to a health post they will have to test for antigen.

A medical store owner in Budhiganga Municipality said that every day more than 40 patients suffering from symptoms similar to coronavirus visited his medical store for treatment. "As a pharmacist, I can't simply turn them away, so I provide them some medicines on the basis of their condition," he said.

Until 3:00pm today, 97 persons have been diagnosed positive for the virus in the district. Five of them are undergoing treatment at Bajura Hospital.

Regarding symptoms seen among people in the local level, Budhiganga Municipality Health Coordinator Dipak Shah said nothing could be said without testing, and went on to add that the municipality couldn't test them all for want of antigen kits.

"We have just 25 antigen kits left now," he said.

Dhana Rokaya of Khaptad Chhededaha Rural Municipality also informed that his village abounded with people showing symptoms similar to COVID-19. "Many are ill, but they haven't had any sort of test. Most of them haven't recovered from fever even after a week or more," he said.

Khaptad Chhededaha Rural Municipality Ward Chair Min Bahadur Shahi said most of the people are reluctant to undergo COVID test for fear of being diagnosed positive.

"While many feel they are better off without COVID test, the local level doesn't have enough antigen kits to test all, who have developed doubtful symptoms," Shahi said.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 5, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.