Coronavirus Quarantine In India: Poor & Unhygienic Facilities

Ankita Chetana |Mar 26, 2020

Inadequate and insalubrious condition of quarantine centers is the talk of the town in India, however, the government denied it and stated that those are old pics.

People who are set into centers of isolation have complained that the coronavirus quarantine in India is in a bad condition of sufficiency and hygiene. One of the citizens experiencing Indian quarantine centers Bhalla told that senior citizens who are having serious coughs are set together in one room. She said that she knew how important it is to isolate amidst the coronavirus outbreak but the condition there is too bad.

quarantine centre in India
An Indian quarantine center in north Kashmir

Three doctoral students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) had the same worry of cross-infection that they fleed from a center of healthcare. After 9 days of self-isolation separately at a hostel when coming back from Dubai, they had to be gathered in the same room at a facility on March 18th.

coronavirus quarantine in india
The toilet condition of a quarantine center in Delhi

A 28-year-old postdoctoral student with the surname of Rather said:

"There were three separate iron beds with no bedsheets to cover them. There were no hand sanitizers and masks available. Nobody checked our temperature the whole day. Later at night, when we came to know that a person who recently travelled to Iran was supposed to stay in the same ward, we informed the hospital authorities in writing that we would leave for our homes in Kashmir because we feared getting infected from the new entrant."

After that, all of them reached Jammu by train and caught a taxi to Kashmir. Noting on the situation, the facility authorities issued an announcement about three students' leaving without permission. The Kashmir government began to track them.

Rather claimed that he was arrested right after reaching home. Then he and the two others were sent to a local hospital for isolation. However, he kept saying that the facilities were the same as before and beds were put close to one another. The overwhelming garbage bin remains to stay there and no one cleaned it.

Another scholar of AMY who is 29 years old shared:

"Nobody came to check our body temperature, we checked it on our own. A local who came back from China was kept with us in the same ward. Doctors said that we are fine but we feared contracting the infection from him."

On Monday, an ambulance took them with other nine people to different hospitals. Meanwhile, Vinay Kumar who came back to New Delhi from Germany with his wife clarified that he doesn't trust in the coronavirus quarantine in India and its system. When the couple arrived at the airport, there hadn't been any medical test applied to them.

Then, the two were required to stay at a Gurgaon quarantine center with 156 other passengers on the same flight. Their passports were kept and they had to use a quarantine ward of 30 beds.

Vinay said: "Till 10 pm, there was no medical team to examine us, including two pregnant women. At 10.30 pm, we were provided food - rice, lentils, and vegetables. Later, we were asked to leave by signing a self-declaration form and our passports were given back. The buses dropped us off at the airport at midnight."

Otherwise, 15 people were reported to flee two different hospitals in Nagpur and Navi Mumbai of Maharashtra. There have been some videos recording the images of broken beds, stuck washing basins, dirty toilet seats viral on the Internet. The people there also bewailed that there were no tests, masks, soaps or sanitizers for about 13 hours.

World Health Organization (WHO) declared that quarantine places must be adequate, spacious, and hygienic. If single rooms are impossible, the center must place the beds with a distance of at least 1 meter.

beds in quarantine center
They are preparing beds for a quarantine center in Kolkata outskirts

Nevertheless, the Indian government's principal spokesperson K.S. Dhatwalia denied the complaints saying:

"We are able to offer certain facilities to people in quarantine and we are improving by each day. Some people are circulating old pictures on social media to blame the government."

He even insisted on his confirmation of no escaping cases from quarantine and the administration is trying to take them back if they getaway. On the other hand, the government is close-mouthed of the exact number of quarantine centers and isolated people. Dhatwalia emphasized that they are more focusing on saving people's lives rather than publishing the data. He once said that he could not provide the data in a phone call.

people in coronavirus quarantine in India
A group of those who came back to Kashmir from the Gulf see around from a hotel in Srinagar for quarantine.

On March 18, some media reports unconfirmed declared a number of 40,000 people in isolation. Based on the complaints, health professionals are holding their concerns that cross-contamination will happen under the unhygienic facilities from centers of quarantine. Epidemiologist Alex Joseph rang an alarm bell:

"If the people in quarantine do not maintain the required distance and if washbasins or the taps they use are not disinfected, there are chances of cross-transmission. This can lead to a disaster because they are all vulnerable. People should make an effort to keep cleanliness at their own level as much as possible."

All India People's Science Network (AIPSN) and People's health movement Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) had issued a paper on coronavirus quarantine in India that read: "Before it sets in, the quarantines would work to contain the disease."

condition of Coronavirus Quarantine In India
Lack of facilities for quarantined people at the center

Consultant to the health ministry, as well as former executive director of the National Health Systems Resource Center, T. Sundaraman stressed in the paper that quarantined people must receive the rights of being protected when the state often allows itself to have some unnecessary authorities during the serious pandemic.

General secretary of Doctors Association of Kashmir Owais Ahmad Dar warned that to not bear any pressure for quarantined people, the state should provide the quality facilities.

Heading to the poor condition of several quarantine centers, Bhalla with about 50,000 people have signed a petition on change.org to ask the government to approve quarantine condition improvement. She said:

"But many trolled my mother on social media. We were told that people like us should never be allowed to come to India and we were brats asking for five-star welcome in the time of crisis. It was horrified not only to be at the quarantine centre but also by the vicous campaign that followed thereafter against us."

Watch the video below to know more about the coronavirus quarantine in India:

Covid-19 in india

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