Monday, 30th October 2017

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Home isolation must for all returnees

Attempt to stop quarantine jump in Bengal

  • Published 24.03.20, 2:02 AM
  • Updated 24.03.20, 2:02 AM
  • 2 mins read
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The state had earlier issued an order that said those who had come from abroad since March 6 would be taken to government quarantine centres (Shutterstock)

The Bengal government has made it mandatory for all those who return from abroad and other states to go in for home quarantine and started taking written undertakings from them that they will face legal action if they flout the norms of the isolation.

Sources said the decision was taken after several people who had been asked to keep isolated at home to check the spread of the novel coronavirus came out of quarantine in various parts of the state.

“The state issued an order where it was directed to take undertaking from everyone who needs to be sent to home quarantine. All those who are coming from other states have already been asked to be in home quarantine for 14 days. If anyone jumps the quarantine, we could take legal action against that person,” said a senior state government official.

He said the forms had to be filled up by an engineer and a labourer alike if they return from outside Bengal.

The undertaking form is written in both Bengali and English. The officials have been asked to provide a printed guideline of home quarantine.

The undertaking form reads: “I ….. s/o, d/o, w/o….. hereby declare that I will abide by the rules, regulations and instructions given in the home quarantine guidelines which have been explained to me by the health team…..

I am aware that any violation/contravention in following the instructions in the guideline will attract penal provisions under the relevant rule and laws rules including ‘The West Bengal Epidemic Disease, Covid-19 regulations. 2020.”

In the form, the name, contact number and period of quarantine of the person have to be written clearly.

Police officers said according to law, they could book a violator under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code which entails six months in jail along with a fine of Rs 1,000.

The state had earlier issued an order that said those who had come from abroad since March 6 would be taken to government quarantine centres. Several quarantine centres have been set up at buildings such as Kishan Mandi, ITIs and private nursing homes.

“Initially, we had planned to send such people to government quarantine centres, instead of asking them to go in for home quarantine. It has been directed that no one should leave their homes during the period of home quarantine,” said a senior police officer.

“The undertaking would help us take action against them legally,” he added.

All districts in Bengal have already started taking self-declarations from people who are in home quarantine.

The government deputes a civic volunteer at each village, along with a nodal person, to monitor those in home quarantine.

Health department officials said the prime challenge was to keep those coming from outside in quarantine for at least 14 days.

“We welcome the move. The time is crucial and we need to take legal action if anyone violates the norms,” said a doctor in Burdwan.