High risk of Covid-19 community transmission in state
IMPHAL, 17th May: Amidst ceaseless return of state natives stranded outside due to nationwide lockdown imposed to prevent spread of COVID-19, community transmission of the highly contagious disease is becoming imminent in the state due to lack of understanding among public and loopholes in government policy.
A government official, however, informed that acute shortage of manpower is creating problems but also admitted that misunderstanding occur between officials and returnees. The problem would continue till manpower at the screening centres is increased, the official added.
States natives, who return from other states either by private vehicles or by hiring buses/vehicles, are screened for COVID-19 at IIIT Mantripukhri and Modern College, Porompat. When both the screening centres were inspected on Saturday, The People’s Chronicle found visible signs about possibility of disease transmission from returnees to their family members particularly as per the situation at the centres.
People who returned via Mao and Jiribam in private or hired vehicles are to report and register at two centres but this daily saw many family members waiting for the returnees. Long wait for screening and lack of instruction from authority on where to despatch the returnees after screening are problems faced by people gathered at the two centres. Misunderstanding between officials on duty at the centres and returnees is common sight at both the centres as returnees are not informed about formalities properly. Though government arrange vehicles to transport returnees who complete screening to quarantine centre, The People’s Chronicle came across some families transporting the returnees to designated quarantine centre due to lack of manpower and vehicles. One key factor which could led to community transmission of COVID-19 in the state is lack of understanding among family members of returnees as The People’s Chronicle saw family members of some returnees carrying luggage. This act will surely spread the virus to family members if the returnee happens to be COVID-19 positive and similar acts are also observed when returnees are transported to quarantine centres.
As witnessed by this daily, there was no systematic briefing and helpline desk to returnees on assigning quarantine centres.
A man who returned on a hired vehicle informed this daily that government authority at screening centre did not informed returnees about formalities to be maintained properly and returnees are made to wait for long hours for screening. Even after completion of screening, authority did not properly inform returnees about assigned quarantine centre, the man said adding that using loudspeaker could ease the problem at least to some extent.