Even as the government has launched a variety of steps to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus which has now emerged a severe threat to humanity, corona suspects have been frequently running away from the quarantine centres in Bihar and staying with the family members, raising the fear of transmitting the virus in the community.
Majority of such persons fleeing these centres are migrant labourers who returned to the state and were put up at the local village schools and other government buildings. The state government was compelled to convert schools and panchayat buildings into the temporary quarantine centres after the local villagers banned the entry of the returning migrants to their villages until they have underwent corona test. The villagers feared everyone’s life could be at risk f the corona suspects mingled with them.
But as it turns out, the migrants put up at the quarantine centres have been fleeing from there and freely moving in their village. As per the guideline, those put up at these quarantine centres have to stay there for a minimum of 14 days. . According to an official report, more than 1.80 lakh migrant labourers have returned to Bihar post lockdown.
According to reports in the local media, a total of 33 persons had been quarantined at a government school located at Kala Diyara village in Patna’s Bakhtiyarpur block but when a team of media persons visited there yesterday, only eight were found. Local villagers said these workers flee during the day to harvest rabi crops and return only in the evening while some even stay with their families.
Another report said a total of 42 migrant workers were put up at a quarantine centre located at Ghangh panchayat school under the same block but it is said they flee in the evening and return only in the morning to eat free food provided by the government. Similarly, 27 migrant workers kept at a village school in Jogapatti block in West Champaran district have been accused of fleeing the centre at night. There is also report of several persons running away from a quarantine centre at Sherghati block in Gaya district and Madanapur block in Aurangabad district.
What is more serious, the quarantine centres are now being frequently attacked by the suspects and anti-social elements. On Monday night, a group of youths attacked a quarantine centre in Samastipur district, badly injuring three of 10 persons lodged there. According to the police the miscreants were drunk. At another isolation centre in Saharsa district, two youths entered into heated altercation with the medical staffs demanding that they be realised from there. The situation could be brought under control after the police reached the spot.
Even more horrible scene was created at a quarantine centre in Siwan district on Saturday when a group of youths ransacked the centre and clashed with the medical staffs and the local BDO. They also allegedly hurled abuses at them. The accused persons were angry at lack of basic facility at the quarantine centre and not being released from the centre despite none of them having the corona systems. Bihar director general of police Gupteshwar Pandey has ordered for registering cases against persons creating ruckus at these centres.