Ukhrul returnees yet to get test results even after 27 days in quarantine

Anger mounts not only among the returnees but also among their parents and others in the districts as the results of their sample tests for coronavirus are being delayed.

The returnees in quarantine centres of Ukhrul district in Manipur expressed gratitude to the state government for bringing them back from outside the state to their hometown, but they are now gripped with panic. Anger mounts not only among the returnees but also among their parents and others in the districts as the results of their sample tests for coronavirus are being delayed even after completing 27 days in quarantine. Some left the quarantine centre without getting their test results, and others who left the quarantine turned positive for COVID-19 after some days.

The returnees at Phungyar Quarantine Centres at PHED Quarter and IRB Barrack building have completed 27 quarantine days on Monday, but they are yet to receive their test results. Worried and vexed over the situation, they demanded urgent redressal of their grievances.

“We wonder what went wrong with the swab test taken on June 6. We were told that 120 plus samples were taken on that day, of which 40 plus tests were received. What shocked us was that only 40 plus samples were received. Where have the remaining 70 plus gone? If misplaced or discarded, immediate re-tests should be done and test results should be made available within a day or two,” said the returnees in a release.

Of the 16 returnees stationed at PHED Quarter of Phungyar, three have left the quarantine centre yesterday and day before yesterday without getting their test result, informed one of the returnees. The returnees are from Hyderabad and one is from Odisha. They have been admitted at the quarantine centres since May 26, 2020. Their samples were collected on June 6.

Around 30 returnees at IRB Barrack, Phungyar have left for their respective villages. Some have left after getting their test results, some left without getting their results and around 40 are still waiting for their test results even as they enter their 27th day of quarantine.

“Were the discharged papers provided to the returnees after proper testing or were they provided simply without actually obtaining any results from the authorized testing agency (JNIMS/RIMS) by-passing the proper channel? We could see use of eraser/removal in15+ discharge papers,” they questioned.

There are old aged people, infants, mothers and pregnant women who should be given priority and the utmost care, they said.

 “We tried every possibility to reach the authorities concerned but in vain. So, we want immediate response from the authority and we call upon the chief minister to urgently look after our concern and grievances. Otherwise, we will undertake democratic measures and the authorities should be responsible for any consequences,” it said.

Meanwhile, two returnees who were earlier quarantined at STNBA School, Irong and have gone back to their village, Leiting under Phungyar Sub-Division on June 16 after completion of 14-day period of quarantine were reportedly found positive. The villagers received information on Saturday, said a member of Leiting Village Authority, Gameliel Shinglai.

He added that they were picked up today at around 1pm in an ambulance. There is also a report that one returnee from Phalang Village under Phungyar Sub-Division was also picked up by the same ambulance on being tested COVID-19 positive.

MLA of Phungyar Assembly constituency, Leishiyo Keishing informed this correspondent that as a representative from the area, he has been bearing all the expenses even after the expiry of government guideline of 14-day period. He stated that he will continue to bear the expenses of the returnees if they decide to stay and wait for their test results at the quarantine centre after the completion of 28 days.

Deputy Commissioner of Kamjong, Zuringla Kengoo informed that the district administration is trying its best to get the test results of all the returnees.

President of Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long, Somatai Machinao along with his team visited the quarantine centres and appealed to the returnees to maintain discipline for the safety of everyone. He urged the returnees to give due acknowledgement and appreciation to the authority.

First Published:June 23, 2020, 11:41 a.m.