The four quarantines of Praveen Burathi
Praveen Burathi, a resident of Khatoli, a village 40 km from Champawat works as a navigation officer at a shipping company in Tehran.Updated: May 01, 2020 01:20 IST
A 25-year-old man took nearly two months to reach his home in the Champawat district of Uttarakhand from Tehran, capital of Iran amid the Covid-19 outbreak. In the process, he was quarantined once in Iran and twice in Rajasthan. And on Tuesday, when he reached Champawat, it was only to be quarantined again.
Praveen Burathi, a resident of Khatoli, a village 40 km from Champawat works as a navigation officer at a shipping company in Tehran. He was sanctioned two months’ leave by his company but the flight he was to take on February 28 was cancelled.
“ When I reached Tehran airport on February 28, I was informed that flight for Delhi was cancelled due to Covid-19 outbreak . I was told there was no certainty when the next flight would leave for India,” said Burathi.
He contacted the Indian embassy in Tehran. “ I was advised by officials that I would be quarantined in a hotel till the next flight was available. I remained in quarantine till March 14 and my sample was taken by Iranian officials, which tested negative on March 16.”
The quarantine was necessary because Iran was among the earliest to be hit hard by the viral pandemic.
One he cleared the quarantine, he was put on the next flight to India.
“Finally I boarded an Air flight for Delhi with r 195 other Indians on March 18 from Tehran. After we reached Delhi we were taken to Jaisalmer in Rajasthan through two domestic flights and quarantined there for 14 days,” Burathi said.
Every Indian flown in from countries ravaged by the virus -- China and Iran, for instance -- were placed in manatory quarantine.
After completion of the quarantine period, their samples were taken again for Covid-19 testing on March 31. “The report was received on April 5, which showed two people tested positive for COVID-19. So we all were quarantined again for 14 days at the same centre. We completed the second quarantine period on April 19, when samples were again sent for the testing”, Burathi said.
That report came in negative on April 23; he and the others were free to go. “But it took me three more days to obtain a movement pass from the authorities in Jaisalmer. Then, I hired a taxi for Rs 30000 and left for Champawat,” said Burathi.
Burathi reached Champawat on Tuesday and went to the local police station to inform them about his arrival as is the practice during the lockdown. Once he told them about his travel history, he was quarantined again in a local hotel for 14 days.
The chief medical officer of Champawat district Dr RP Khanduri said: “Though we are quarantining (all) people who come from outside the state, given this man’s travel history we are being extra cautious. After he completes his quarantine period, his samples will be sent for testing. If they come negative, he will be sent home and advised to stay there.”
In Uttarakhand, where 57 people have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, 11,120 people have been home quarantined and 2,218 have been quarantined in various institutions .
“I so badly want to go home,” said Burathi.
“This is the longest and most tiresome journey I have taken so far in my life.”