Lockdown: Discharged returnees in dilemma on going home

Coronavirus lockdown: Discharged returnees in dilemma on going home

Representative image (iStock photo)

Anand Bandiwaddar, a 26-year-old civil services examination aspirant who returned from Delhi to Gokak in Belagavi district in a Shramik Express, is a worried person. He is scared to enter his house, as even after completing 14-days of institutional-quarantine he has not received test reports of the swab samples collected eight days ago.

Not just him, more than 3,000 people in Belagavi, who have returned from other high-risk States, are awaiting their medical reports and yet many of them (600 according to former minister Satish Jarkiholi) have been sent home by the district administration, citing the new guidelines by the State government.

This has led to fear among people and elected representatives of community spread as those sent for home quarantine can still spread the disease.

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 “I have completed 14-days of institutional-quarantine and my swab sample was collected after eight days of institutional-quarantine. I don’t have any symptoms, however, one of my co-passengers who travelled in the same bus from Hubballi to Belagavi on May 16 has turned positive now. I am scared to go home as I may spread the disease to others. The report could have helped us make a decision,” said Anand.

Shivaraj Kumar, who was in institutional-quarantine at Gokak BMC hostel, says many of the returnees from Maharashtra were tested on the sixth or seventh day and were sent home before the results were out. “Twenty five of us were kept in the same hostel and we don’t know if anyone of us had contracted the disease,” he said.

KPCC Working President Satish Jarkiholi on Saturday raised concerns over the move of the Health Department, which has ‘discharged’ 600 persons who were under institutional-quarantine across Belagavi district before reports of their Covid-19 tests were out.

Sources in district administration told DH that more than 7,000 people have come from high-risk states, including Maharashtra. Testing all of them is a time-consuming process.

Speaking to DH, Belagavi Deputy Commissioner S B Bommanahalli said medical reports of more than 3,000 people are awaited and the ‘discharges’ from institutional quarantine are as per the circular issued by state government on May 27.

The circular says: ‘A person who has completed 7-days of institutional quarantine and is asymptomatic can be sent to home-quarantine without a Covid-19 test (RT-PCR)...’

Bommanahalli said the large-scale backlog of test results is because of the high influx. 

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