Assam issues fresh guidelines for flood relief camps in view of Covid-19
Floods during monsoon affect a majority of Assam’s 33 districts each year and displace several lakhs of people. Most of the displaced spend weeks in schools or temporary relief camps till the time the floodwaters subside.Updated: May 20, 2020 19:25 IST
The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) has issued a fresh set of guidelines for the management of flood relief camps in the state this year because of the unforeseen coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
Floods during monsoon affect a majority of Assam’s 33 districts each year and displace several lakhs of people. Most of the displaced spend weeks in schools or temporary relief camps till the time the floodwaters subside.
“This year the challenge to support those who might get affected due to annual flood menace will be even tougher due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic across the globe, which has also affected our state,” said Pankaj Chakrabarty, state project coordinator, ASDMA.
The new guidelines have urged the district authorities to identify additional relief camps as per population density of villages to earmark space for social distancing norms.
Earlier, 3.5 square metres of space in relief camps were earmarked for each person at a relief camp. However, the allotted space will be doubled this year to ensure the mandatory one-metre social distancing is maintained between two inmates at a relief camp.
All arrangements have been made, including the availability of face masks and hand sanitisers, at relief camps, which have been notified as no-spitting and no-tobacco zones.
“Daily monitoring (in place of weekly) of the health condition of inmates will be done by medical teams, who will be equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) units for conducting special screening during the registration process,” said the guidelines.
“If an inmate is found to be sneezing and suffering from common cold immediate medical supervision will be made. The patient must be isolated as per Covid-19 norms and regulations,” it added.
The district authorities have been asked to prepare standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the distribution of relief items and cooked food complying with precautionary measures.
“Quarantine isolation facilities have to be identified on higher altitudes by the district administration for transfer of Covid-19 suspect cases,” the guidelines said.
To ensure proper management of livestock, the district authorities have been asked to identify highland areas such as tea gardens with grasses “for the arrangement of the green fodder for livestock of the farmers/camp inmates”.
Assam has reported 158 Covid-19 positive cases till Tuesday. While four Covid-19 patients have died so far, 42 have recovered, 110 patients are still undergoing treatment in hospitals and another two have left for their native places in West Bengal and Bihar.