Social distancing difficult for inmates in quarantine centres

Apart from the issue of social distancing, the inmates face the problem of hygiene and sanitation problem, lack of essential items to fight the disease and poor mess management, the KSO members said.

Social distancing is a must to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among communities, and those people violating containment measures in public places are detained, punished and fined. But how feasible is it to maintain social distancing in quarantine centres? Social distancing can be maintained where there is enough space, but it may not be practical to follow in a place not spacious enough and where the number of people staying together are large. The temporary quarantine centres in many places set up hastily to accommodate the thousands of returnees coming from various parts of the country may not be the best places to maintain social distancing and the country does not have enough quarantine centres. Owing to lack of space, inmates in Kangpokpi quarantine centres are finding it difficult to follow social distancing norm.

Many inmates had to huddle up in tight quarters due to lack of institutional quarantine centres, it was found during a visit to quarantine centres in Kangpokpi district by the Kuki Students’ Organization (KSO) Sadar Hills on Tuesday.

Apart from the issue of social distancing, the inmates also face hygiene and sanitation problem, lack of essential items to fight the disease and poor mess management, the KSO members were informed during their visit to seven institutional quarantine centres, including Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, IGNTU at Makhan.

On learning the distress situation, the KSO members helped the inmates in addressing some immediate issues such as lack of essential items, poor hygiene and sanitization of the place.

The student body also visited five community quarantine centres under the Kangchup Geljang block in the presence of KSO Moltam Block and distributed essential items such as sanitizers, masks, gloves, and sugar for the inmates.

Village authorities concern were lauded for running the quarantine centres well and assured help. KSO Sadar Hills president Thangminlen Kipgen said that all these support to the quarantine centres were made possible by MLA Ngamthang Haokip. He thanked the MLA for arranging all the necessities.

Group general secretary Lalgoulen Haokip said sanitation and hygiene and other issue such as irregular mess were discussed with more than hundred inmates at IGNTU in the presence of SDO concerned Len Singsit.

Haokip said that the KSO team also visited quarantine facilities at Damdei, Charhajare, Presidency College, Motbung High School, St Vincent Pangmol and EMRS Sapormeina. In all these seven institutional quarantine centres, masks, gloves, sanitizers, mosquito coils, dustbins, bottled water and other essential items were distributed and issues of the inmates were attended.

Haokip said that in all the seven quarantine centres, social distancing norms were not very practical as many inmates have to huddle up in tight quarters due to the lack of institutional quarantine centres. Issues regarding lack of daily campus sanitization were also highlighted by the inmates, he said.

They also stated that timely provision of lunch and dinner at these centres was still an issue while adding that even after provision of mess was entrusted to the TSA, complaints were received from all the seven centres that dinner was not received sometime till 9 pm.

Inmates of Motbung High school stated that a single small packet of rice was not enough to satisfy their hunger for which mess in-charge TSA was requested to address these genuine complaints of the inmates.

The student body also alleged that inmates of Damdei College had protested against the unsatisfactory mess management by the TSA. After consulting the SDO concerned, it was decided that Damdei College would cater their mess on its own. Similar situation was also witnessed at EMRS Sapormeina for which the KSO Sadar Hills donated seven bags of rice for these two centres.

Meanwhile, the student body extended its gratitude to the district administration from the SDOs to the police team and all medical staff for attending to all urgent issues raised by the KSO Sadar Hills promptly and salute them for their sacrifices in the battle against COVID-19.

From IFP Correspondent | KANGPOKPI

First Published:June 4, 2020, 7:51 p.m.