Returnees fear to continue stay in quarantine centre, voice against 'negligence'

About 20 returnees staying at Moijing High school in Thoubal on Saturday staged a sit-in protest against the alleged negligence in looking after them and said that the centre has turned into a COVID-19 transmission spot.

Quarantine stay is made mandatory for all returnees to states before they are sent home after being tested negative for Coronavirus. However, how well-equipped are the quarantine centres has been the question on many minds since day one. Today, the media, especially the social media, is abuzz with reports and videos of people staying in some quarantine centres indulging in violence and complaining about "negligence" and "mismanagement" of the centres. On Saturday, returnees staying at a community quarantine centre in Thoubal district of Manipur staged a sit-in protest against alleged "negligence" of their welfare.

About 20 returnees staying at Moijing High School in Thoubal on Saturday staged a sit-in protest against the alleged negligence in looking after them.

The returnees complained that the quarantine centre has become a spot for COVID-19 transmission. They say that due to the alleged failure in taking up preventive measures, several of them have been tested positive for COVID-19 one after another.

They said they are afraid of contracting the disease and afraid to continue their stay at the quarantine centre, as their stay in quarantine has been prolonged .

One of them said there are people who have completed 30 days' stay at the quarantine centre and one of the inmates who was earlier tested negative for COVID-19, tested positive on Friday. The person became positive because of prolonged stay at the quarantine centre, the inmate added.
 
However, neither government officials nor volunteers have taken up measures to disinfect the quarantine centre, the inmate claimed, adding that the centre has become a spot for transmission of the disease as the inmates are stationed together. The inmates said they are afraid to stay further at the centre and demanded the government to let them out from the quarantine.
 
There have been several reports of such cases in quarantine centres across the state. Till today, the COVID-19 patients in the state are all returnees from various parts of the country and were staying in quarantine centres. The total number of COVID-19 positive cases in the state rose to 1,092 on Saturday after 17 more returnees tested positive for coronavirus, according to the state health department.
 
However, the health department stated in a release on Saturday that quarantine is a very effective means for prevention of COVID-19 spread. It pointed out that some inmates in some quarantine centres do not follow the protocol, endangering COVID-19 spill over to the general community and urged for strict adherence to protocol.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Biren said on Saturday that the testing capacity of the state has been increased and there is no backlog in testing labs anymore. “Meeting of the State Consultative Committee for COVID-19 is held today to discuss many issues on tackling COVID-19 in the state, including effective management of COVID Hospitals and Care Centres as testing capacity has increased and there is no backlog in the testing labs anymore,” the chief minister tweeted.

According to data from Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, a total of 48,220 tests results have been received till 6:30 pm Saturday. And the number of active and recovered cases in the state stand at 660 and 432 respectively. The recovery rate has also risen to 39.56 per cent, stated a release from COVID-19 Common Control Room.
First Published:June 28, 2020, 10:53 a.m.