Coronavirus update: Bengal men self-quarantine on tree to keep others safe
With no separate rooms in their homes, seven men in West Bengal’s Purulia district spent days on a tree after they were advised to stay in isolation over fears they could be infected with coronavirus when they returned from Chennai to their village on March 24.
The men worked as wage labourers in the capital city of Tamil Nadu.
They stayed on a machan, wood and bamboo platform, that was already set up by residents of Bansgarh village to save themselves from wild elephant herds that often wander into human habitations in this region in search of food.
The machan is equipped with lights, said an officer at the local Balarampur police station.
“Since our homes are small, we cannot afford to spare a room for just one person. We thought the machan was a ready solution. We did not have any sign of flu when we returned but were asked to stay away from our families,” Bijoy Singh Loya, one of the seven men, said.
The administration came to know about the arrangement from local media reports and the men were taken to a government facility.
“Local people create shelters on trees so that these can be used when herds of elephants enter their villages. These seven persons used such pre-existing shelter to isolate themselves from their families,” Rahul Majumdar, Purulia’s district magistrate, said.
“On Saturday, we arranged for their isolation at a government facility,” Majumdar said.
Eighteen people have contracted Covid-19 and one man has been killed in the state till date, according to the Union ministry of health.