15 fresh cases reported in state; QC inmates revolt

STAFF REPORTER/CORRESPONDENT
IMPHAL/THOUBAL, 7th Jun: State’s official total COVID-19 positive cases reached 172 following confirmation of 15 fresh positive cases Saturday midnight and active cases stood at 120 as of late Sunday evening.
However, sources informed that 16 positive cases were detected at VRDL, JNIMS Sunday with 13 of them said to be from Churachandpur district. Another 16 persons were confirmed to have tested Covid-19 positive at VRDL, RIMS on Sunday night, the sources maintained.
Confirming detection of the fresh cases till Saturday, a statement issued by health department spokesperson Dr Khoirom Shaseekumar said that 15 people including four women tested positive of COVID-19 when results of their samples were released from VRDL of RIMS and JNIMS late Saturday night.
Results of 12 samples returned positive from VRDL, RIMS and three from VRDL, JNIMS. Among them, six including a woman hail from Thoubal district, five including three women from Ukhrul district, three from Kangpokpi district and one hails from Imphal West district. Among the fresh cases, eight returned from Mumbai in a special train arranged by government, six returned from Delhi by air and one reached the state in bus.
Conditions of all the fresh cases are stable and all of them have been admitted at COVID care centres of RIMS and JNIMS, Shaseekumar said adding that necessary actions for containment and contact tracing have been initiated.
In another statement, Shaseekumar said results of 714 samples returned negative from VRDL, RIMS and 535 from VRDL, JNIMS in the past 24 hours. Among those tested for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours include 76 people who are suspected to have had close contacts with a driver of Hindustan Construction Company Limited who was in Tamenglong district recently. The driver left Manipur on May 30 and tested positive at Lakhimpur in Assam on June 2.
Meanwhile, a joint statement of IDSP state surveillance officer Dr L Tomcha Khuman, state data manager Anthony H and microbiologist H Shyamkishore Sharma said 6499 returnees are staying at institutional quarantine centres opened by government and another 11,958 returnees at community quarantine centres as of Sunday.
A total of 555 truckers and 120 passengers were screened for COVID-19 at Mao gate on Sunday and 212 truckers and 12 passengers at Jiribam. A total of 494 people who arrived at Imphal airport were also screened Sunday while 577 drivers and handymen were screened at ISBT Khuman Lampak. Drivers of 59 oil tankers and 49 bullet tankers were also screened at YAS complex, Khuman Lampak and Sekmai Bottling Plant respectively. COVID-19 control room attended to 66 calls on Sunday, the joint statement added.
In another development that could derail efforts to contain spread of the disease, inmates of institutional quarantine facility (QC) at Waikhom Mani Girls College Thoubal Okram which is under the management of District Administration Thoubal, went on the rampage damaging several properties including gate of the college on Sunday demanding immediate discharge from the centre.
Most of the inmates of the institutional quarantine centre are Delhi returnees who arrived to the state on May 18. After five inmates of the facility tested positive for Covid-19, quarantine period of all the inmates were extended.
Repeated efforts from Police personnel on duty and medical staffers of the quarantine facility to contain the situation were largely ineffective. Later additional security personnel of Thoubal district police were deployed at the location and the situation was brought under control.
It is said that out of the 32 inmates at the institutional quarantine centre, only 12 belong to Thoubal and the rest are from different districts. Additionally, there had also been a report that the evacuees returned from Delhi without proper adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.
In light of the situation, Thoubal district administration with due approval from higher authorities allowed the inmates to return to their homes later in the afternoon.
The disorderly scene at the quarantine centre erupted after one of the inmates was found positive. Interestingly, the same person who had stayed at the quarantine centre was shifted to isolation ward of Thoubal District hospital for treatment of Covid-19 only to return to the same centre. When an ambulance vehicle came to the centre to pick up the ‘infected’ person again for transportation to RIMS hospital on Sunday at about 2 pm, the inmates started to react and went on the rampage.
Under pressure from the inmates, the district administration in consultation with Health department authorities allowed them to leave the centre by extracting their signatures and advising all to strictly follow home quarantine guidelines.
Swab Sampling Team decries shortages of requisite items, equipment in Thoubal hospital
On the other-hand, Thoubal District Swab Sampling Team revealed that the members have been facing immense hardship due to shortage of manpower as well as unavailability of requisite materials, equipment and infrastructure.
According to some staff members of Thoubal district health department working at the Swab Sampling Centre, most of them are contractual staffers and those trained employees are not working at the Swab centre. On top of that, they are facing immense hardship due to lack of manpower and shortages of PPE items like masks and sanitizers.
There is also no changing room for the women health workers in the Swab Sampling centre and no running tab water compelling the staff to store the essential item in buckets.
As per the order of the state government, the health workers for Swab Sampling Centres are divided into three teams with six staffers in each team, stated one of the staff members and lamented that there are only five members in Team A and two for Team B. Moreover, the staffers are finding it difficult in conducting Swab testing as well as in preparation of documents and reports of patients due to lack of manpower.
Absence of security at the centre another cause for serious concern, the staffers said and stressed that the department authority should provide proper training on Covid-19 and basic protective equipment to all department personnel deployed at the centre to


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