28 days quarantine period : TNL setting the example
Worth emulating. A model worth aping and this is something which other civil society organisations spread across the State should note and see how they can help in making the quarantine period for returnees more meaningful. This is all that more important given the fact that there is high suspicion of cluster transmission within the many quarantine centres spread across the districts. The report that 34 people tested positive from a single quarantine centre at Moirang in Bishnupur district as well as another 11 who tested positive at another single quarantine centre at Churachandpur district, all point to the distinct possibility of the virus spreading within some quarantine centres and this is what is extremely disturbing. Add the recent Government notification that inmates who have completed 14 days quarantine period but are yet to receive their test results would be asked to leave the quarantine centres and here is the perfect plot to script for asymptomatic folks to return home, defeating the very purpose of keeping them quarantined in the first place. Apart from the need of the people who have just come out from quarantine centres to be extremely wary of the reality and not mix around, it is at this point that civil society organisations can step in and see what they can chip in with to help keep the virus from spreading further. This should take one back to the opening remark of this commentary and see what is it that is worth emulating. Thanks to the far sightedness of the Tangkhul Naga Long, which has made another 14 days quarantine period compulsory at the village level for all returnees, this should check the possibility of further spread of the virus. This whip covers all, meaning even those who have recovered, and this is best exemplified by the fact that the young girl from Kamjong district who recovered and had to take an auto-rickshaw back home on being discharged did not head straight for home, but had to undergo another 14 days quarantine at a designated village level quarantine centre.
It is this far sightedness on the part of the Tangkhul Naga Long that should be acknowledged and the measures they have taken up should also be noted by the State Government. Complementing the 14 days institutional quarantine period made compulsory by the State Government and in effect this means that all returnees of Ukhrul district and Kamjong district will have to undergo 28 days quarantine. This is all for the good of the community and the State Government too should take note of the proactive role taken up by the TNL here. Other CSOs may also study the model propounded by the TNL and see how they can contribute more in the efforts taken up by the Government to keep the virus from spreading amongst the people. So far all cases, save for the nurse at Churachandpur, are from amongst those coming back from other parts of the country and to ensure that the spread within the quarantine centres do not go outside, another quarantine period at the village level is the right way to go about it. Given the high density population and the lack of enough space in Imphal it may not be practical to adopt leikai level quarantine centres, but here again leikai clubs, which are a dime a dozen in every locality, may be entrusted with the task of ensuring that those who have just come out from the institutional quarantine centres do not mingle with others but stay indoors. The needed specifics within a house may also be inspected by members of the leikai level clubs. The report that one man from Thoubal tested positive after his quarantine period should be an eye opener to all.