The country is battling a full-blown pandemic and one way to stop the spread is by self-isolation, especially when travelling from one place to another.
But a 28-year-old returnee Manas Patra from Tamil Nadu had to self-isolate himself in a toilet when his request for extension of stay in institutional quarantine in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district was denied.
He was discharged from the government-run temporary medical camp after isolating for seven days. Upon completing the mandatory seven-days quarantine at the facility, he was told to spend a week more in isolation at his home.
Officials stated that he had asked for an extended stay in the institutional quarantine as he doesn’t have enough space in his house in Jamugaon village for self-isolation. But the request was denied.
With no feasible alternatives, Patra quarantined himself in a Swachh Bharat toilet which is close to his house where his family members and elderly parents live.
I had pleaded with the local authorities for extending my quarantine period. However, they did not keep my request. Therefore, to ensure the safety of family members, I was forced to stay in the toilet.
From June 9 to 15, Patra spent seven days in a 6×8 feet newly-built toilet which the family hasn’t used yet. Rashmi Rekha Mallick, Block Department Officer of Naugaon stated that the matter is being looked into.
We have asked sarpanchs (village heads) to allow people to stay longer at quarantine centres if inmates give undertakings that they do not have adequate facility at home for self- isolation
An official at the special relief commissioner’s office said that initially the returnees were placed under 14 days quarantine but it was later brought down to seven days institutional quarantine followed by a week of self-isolation at home. This is as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health
With a daily hike in COVID-19 cases, it’ll only get tougher to contain the situation if circumstances like these are not taken into account.