An Assessment and Recommendations by RCRC
Rapid Rural Community Response to COVID-19 (RCRC) is a coalition of more than 60 organisations. RCRC member organisations serve over 1.6 crore people in over 110 districts of 15 states. The Working Committee (WC) is the leadership team of 10 senior CSO leaders (see annexure 1 for the names of the Working Committee and annexure 2 for the names of member organisations).
Target population: Given that RCRC members implement rural livelihoods programs at the last mile, we have a sense of the situation on the ground and an understanding of what needs to be done immediately and in the medium-term to provide support to rural communities, particularly those in remote villages. RCRC partners did exemplary work last year in very difficult geographies, providing relief and livelihood support to millions of people affected by the pandemic.
We share our understanding of what needs to be done in rural areas, as also small and medium (tier 3 and tier 4) towns given that there is a strong urbanrural health service linkage. We are also concerned about our own NGO staff members, many of whom and their families are also infected and affected.
Condition and Challenges:
Testing infrastructure in these areas falls far short of requirement. There are huge delays in blood samples being sent for testing and test reports are often greatly delayed. People are reluctant to follow quarantine protocols, while there is also a lack of availability of quarantine facilities. The following observations describe the condition of the rural people we work with:
Recommendations as to what should be done
Mitigation to a large extent is the strategy that we should be adopting since the disease is rapidly spreading to the interiors. The following measures are being suggested.