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Yogi govt says UP migrants who have completed isolation can go home, will arrange buses




At a UP quarantine facility | By special arrangement
At a UP quarantine facility | By special arrangement

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Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has started allowing migrants, who have completed the 14-day quarantine period in screening centres across the state, to return to their homes.

The Chief Minister’s Office made the announcement late Tuesday evening, hours after migrants in Mumbai flocked in huge numbers to the city’s Bandra West railway station during lockdown.

The announcement came after Chief Minister Adityanath held a video conference with several district magistrates.

A statement issued by the government said the chief minister told the district magistrates to allow those who have completed the isolation period to return home while ensuring social distancing is followed.

While buses are being arranged for those who have to go to places within Uttar Pradesh, a decision is yet to taken on the travel arrangement for people from other states who are quarantined in UP.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi, who addressed a press conference later, said the government will make transport facilities available to the migrant labourers.

“Migrants who came from other states are now being allowed to go back to their homes. We are arranging buses for them to return to their homes both within the district as well as outside the districts within the state,” he said. “For people of other states quarantined in UP, we will see how we can arrange for their transportation.”

According to the additional chief secretary, there are around 1.2 lakh people currently in quarantine facilities in the state. “There are three categories of them. One from the state who have completed their 14 days of quarantine, one set yet to complete the required period and the last are the people from other states who are in quarantine or have finished it,” he said.

“They will be sent home after a medical checkup,” Awasthi added. “Apart from this, the UP government will also give them a food kit to take home.”

The state had a lot of its migrant labourers returning home after the lockdown was announced on 24 March. Many of them had walked hundreds of kilometres from Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon among other places.

In keeping with the Covid-19 guidelines, they were stopped at several border districts and sent to quarantine centres set up across the state to screen them for coronavirus and ensure that they do not transmit it to others.

Also read: There’s paranoia in the air and UP’s Corouna village is paying a big price for it

Hundreds run away, FIR registered

The poor facilities at the quarantine centres and the desire to get home fast led to many of the migrants fleeing the centres, particularly in the districts of Bulandshahr, Raebareli, Sitapur, Kaushambi and Sultanpur among others.

The UP Police has lodged a number of FIRs against those who fled quarantine.

For instance, 16 migrants quarantined in the Dibai area of Bulandshahar district ran away last Sunday by breaking a window at the centre. The police, however, caught them after an intense search.

“We caught all of them that very evening,” Bulandshahar SSP Santosh Singh told ThePrint. “But it was easy to convince them that they will be allowed to go home soon. Completing the quarantine period is compulsory; they have to understand that.”

The SSP also said the migrants have been demanding liquor and tobacco-related products. “There have been a lot of complaints about their demands for liquor, gutkha etc. We can’t fulfil such demands,” he said. “We are now arranging transport for those who have completed the quarantine period.”

An FIR was lodged against nine migrants for running away from a quarantine centre at Kubna village in Raebareli last Thursday. Raebareli District Magistrate Shubhra Saxena said these people had not completed their quarantine period. “We are releasing them as they have now finished the isolation period.”

In Sultanpur district, the district administration has decided to provide counselling at the quarantine centres. Last week, 26 people quarantined at KNIT College in Sultanpur had fled with the help of a rope that they made out of cloth.

“We caught them later. We have given them all the facilities in quarantine centres but some of them are afraid. They want to go home,” Sultanpur DM C. Indhumathi told ThePrint. “We are giving them counselling regarding the importance of the quarantine period. Now that the government has allowed some of them to go, we are arranging mini buses for them.”

Also read: Waiting for food, dodging cops — ragpickers in Lucknow slum live on crumbs, no water



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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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