‘Packing’ of returnees condemned

IMPHAL, 17th May: Eight state natives who returned from Chandigarh, and were transported to JNIMS hospital together with four symptomatic returnees in an ambulance from Tengnoupal district screening centre, have urged government to transport symptomatic and asymptomatic returnees separately.
Condemning transportation of symptomatic and asymptomatic returnees in a single ambulance, the returnees made clarion call to state government for changing the existing policy and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocol. They warned that community transmission of the deadly virus is very much imminent in the state if government fails to rectify loopholes in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and change the existing policy.
According to the returnees, they reached Jiribam on May 15 in a special train from Chandigarh and left Jiribam for Imphal on May 16 after screening and necessary formalities. “Soon after reaching Imphal, all of us were screened at IIIT Mantripukhri and reached Tengnoupal district screening centre at Kakching Lamkhai late night on May 16.” They also said that CMO Moreh arranged an ambulance and sent them to JNIMS hospital for swab testing at about 11pm together with four symptomatic returnees already present at the centre. They further said that CMO declined their repeated appeals for transporting four symptomatic returnees separately and even reported to the JNIMS authority for swab testing of only the four symptomatic returnees. When approached, JNIMS authority told them to contact the health minister and managed to contact the minister at 2am of May 17. The health minister turned up at JNIMS hospital soon after and personally inspected the situation and allowed swab testing for all of them, they said adding that they had to spend the night in front of JNIMS OPD. Luckily, results of all of them and four other returnees transported in the same ambulance came out negative Sunday afternoon, they added.

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