In Odisha village without quarantine centre, man spends 3 days in toilet
The man’s woes are not yet over. The school has no quarantine bed and he had to sleep on the floor.Updated: May 12, 2020 23:39 IST
A 30-year-old man in Odisha’s Balasore district had to spend three days in the toilet of his home before he was shifted to a school Monday night because the village does not have a quarantine centre.
Kalia Bindhani of Sarkarnagar village under Saraswatipur granpanchayat of Balasore district returned home on May 9, after losing his job in Ganjam district due to the lockdown. As he did not show any symptoms of Covid-19, he was asked by the local sarpanch to stay in home quarantine for 14 days.
However, with no space available in his one-room thatched house, Bindhani chose the public toilet next to his house for quarantine. “In my home there are 12 people. How can I stay with others in the house and possibly infect others? So I chose the toilet,” said Bindhani. A quarantine sticker too was pasted on the toilet wall indicating Bidhani’s date of arrival in his village and the end of quarantine date.
Bindhani would have probably stayed a few more days in the toilet had the Naib sarpanch not raised the issue with the local sarpanch and BDO. Naib sarpanch of the panchayat, Manoj Sethi said the confusion started over lack of guidelines over arrival of migrant workers from other districts. “As he had arrived from the Covid-19 epicentre of Ganjam, he wanted to be quarantined. But we had no official quarantine centre in the village. So I asked him to stay in the toilet,” said Sethi.
After higher officials got to know about the matter, Bindhani was shifted to a primary school in the village on Monday night. But his woes are far from over as the school has no quarantine bed.
“I have to sleep on the floor. But how would I get food on time,” he asked.
Bindhani is the latest case in a long string of complaints from several quarantine centres in Odisha where migrant workers returning from other States have been kept.
On Monday, several migrant workers in a quarantine centre of Ganjam’s Belguntha block threw away the rice alleging that it was overcooked while in another quarantine centre of the same block, migrant workers did not take the upma served at breakfast calling it inedible.
Last week, over 150 migrant workers in Ganjam district had fled the quarantine centre alleging lack of water and low quality food.
Following numerous such complaints, state panchayatiraj secretary DK Singh wrote to all district collectors on Tuesday to ensure good quality food and sanitation in the quarantine centres.
Of the 437 positive cases reported in Odisha so far, more than 300 have been reported from people staying in quarantine centres. After families of the quarantined people started crowding the centres in Ganjam district, the district administration declared the quarantine centres as containment zones.