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Are quarantine centers in Manipur hotspot for COVID-19 pandamic ?

by Rinku Khumukcham
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The government of Manipur says that there is no local transmission of the novel coronavirus and all those detected with the virus are from among those who have return back to the state. As per the a statement by the Chief Minister of Manipur, as many as thirty eight thousand people have return back from outside the state so far. Among them total number of people tested is over seventeen thousand as per record available from both RIMS and JNIMS, where the testing is done. And among these seventeen thousand plus people 282 people have been tested positive. 64 people have  recovered so far and the number of active case as per statement by the state Heath department at 11 am today is 218. May be the assumption about ‘no local transmission’ in the state of Manipur is true as there are no evidences of lateral transmission of the virus untill a nurse from Churachandpur district, with no travel history has been tested positive on June 4. However, when one  take a look to the statistics of the people detected with the virus, there are reason to believe that the virus may have been transmitting from the infected carriers to those who ate not infected but staying together at the same quarantine.
On May 29 issue of this newspaper, we have quoted Khurai Assembly Constituency MLA L. Sushindro at which he drew the attention of the state health department and the district administration to the need for change of the quarantine system in the state. This newspaper had reported the MLA regretting on learning a girl from Churachandpur getting infected most probably from the quarantine center that she stayed at Churachandpur.
Day before yesterday, inmates staying at quarantine center opened at Waikhom Mani Girls’ College in Thoubal breaking the gate of the college forcing the district administration to sent them back to their homes. Imphal Times had also reported about the grievances of the inmates staying at Little Flower School quarantine center some days back. Those staying at the center felt insecured as chances of getting infected with the virus was high as no proper maintenance for physical distancing among the inmates were taken up.  And day before yesterday there are report about keeping over 60 people in a single room for quarantine at Kangpokpi.
Yesterday, 36 people from the same quarantine home at Moirang have been tested positive. As per source there are 104 people staying in the quarantine center. Most of them arrived in the state from Chennai and others states of India on May 23. That means they were in the quarantine center for 17 days. May be their samples were collected on day -14 or before but their result were provided on the 17th day only. Generally as per the SOPs of the Manipur government person who showed no symptoms after 14 days can be sent back to their respective home for self quarantine . However due to pressure from sections of people the government  make test mandatory for all people in the quarantine even as the authority fails to test all the people in quarantine on time.
Given the fact that there are no proper toilets, rooms or timely testing facilities, it is possible that the virus did spread from those infected to those who are not infected at quarantine centers.
Doesn’t that talk volumes on the way that the authority are running these quarantine centers?

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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