Violence at quarantine centres worries many

IMPHAL, 7th Jun: As reports of violence by inmates at some quarantine centres crop up despite strict measures to contain COVID-19 pandemic, certain sections of society have started to raise posers if there were loopholes and mismanagement on parts of state government towards containing the pandemic.
In the initial phase when two persons tested positive of COVID-19, the state government took stringent measures and managed to control the pandemic. Family members of the first two positive cases and those who had closed contacts with them were quarantined as per norms and contact tracing done strictly. The government efforts paid off and Manipur was declared COVID-19 free state and figured in Green Zone.
However, number of positive cases surges ever since government began evacuation of state natives stranded due to lockdown in other states of the country and resumption of limited domestic flight service.
As per report given by chief minister N Biren Singh, more than 35,000 state natives have returned so far via special trains arranged by government, private vehicles, buses and in national carriers.
The ever increasing returnees overwhelmed quarantine centres and testing centres at RIMS and JNIMS face problems due to lack of equipment and technicians thereby limiting COVID-19 test to few hundreds daily. However, testing capacity at both the testing centres were enhanced recently with keen effort of the government and both the centres can now test around 700-800 samples each daily.
Amidst such relentless endeavours to contain the health crisis, reports of violence emerged from some quarantine centres and at least two unwanted incidents had happened since Saturday. The first occurred Saturday night at Presidency College, Motbung where inmates lodged strong complaint over housing 60 inmates together in a room without maintaining social distancing protocol while the second incident occurred at Waikhom Mani girl’s collage in Thoubal Sunday against the authorities’ directive for lengthening their quarantine period.
Taking serious view of occurrence of the unwanted incidents, some concerned citizens called for strict review of measures cautioning that the situation might worsen if inmates happen to return their respective homes and spread the virus. They also observed that it would be very hard to contain the pandemic once there is community transmission.

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