New Delhi: A group of 83 individuals, who had returned from coronavirus-hit Italy and were taken to the Manesar quarantine facility run by the Indian Army Wednesday, created ruckus demanding better facilities, forcing the police to be called in.
After the police and the Army personnel explained that this is not a “luxury resort”, the group, comprising Indians and foreigners of Indian-origin, relented.
A source said the group had arrived from Italy on an Air India flight (AI138) on 11 March. They were immediately quarantined at the Army facility.
While 74 individuals in the group are Indians, the remaining nine are foreigners of Indian-origin — six Italians and three US nationals.
The source added that when the group reached the facility, they demanded that they be given better facilities, including individual rooms. They said that they were willing to pay for everything.
The matter was finally settled after the police were called in, the source said.
‘They should understand this isn’t a luxury retreat’
The Army is incurring an expenditure of Rs 3.5 lakh daily for running the facility, the source said.
“They should understand that this is not a luxury retreat that they are booking into. This is a quarantine facility, which provides for all basic requirements,” an officer in the facility said.
While the facility is deemed to be an emergency facility, sources managing the facility said that many quarantined individuals demand special facilities like separate rooms — thus creating hindrances in smooth functioning of the facility.
Since the individuals at the facility have already travelled together, the demand for separate rooms may not find much merit.
Despite individual preferences and demands, the Army has gone about doing its job in the best possible way, the source said.
The Army created the facility where both Indians and foreigners can be monitored for a duration of two weeks by a qualified team of doctors and staffers to spot any signs of infection.
There are 60 Army personnel to run the facility, said the above-quoted source.
So far, a total of 455 individuals who have arrived from Wuhan in China (248), Japan (124) and Italy (83) have been quarantined in three batches at the facility.
The facility consists of accommodation barracks, administrative areas and medical facility area.
To prevent mass outbreak, the facility has been divided into sectors, each with a maximum capacity of 50 individuals. Each sector has been further subdivided into barracks. The population of sectors are not allowed to intermingle.
Patients in the same barrack are allowed to play games, watch TV and have meals together and not with those outside the barrack.
Daily medical examination of all individuals are being done at the facility. Everyone at the facility is also required to wear a three-layered mask round-the-clock.
After 14 days, those with no symptoms are allowed to go home with their detailed documentation sent to the District/State surveillance units for further observation.
Those found infected are shifted to isolation facilities for further medical exams and recovery.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.