Untold stories of quarantine


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Rae Bareli: Medical team releases videos of cramped space, dirty toilets.A group of government doctors and medical staff in Rae Bareli have released videos highlighting the poor and unpleasant living facilities provided to them at a government-run school where they were lodged under ‘active quarantine’.

Following this, the chief medical officer of the district shifted the 25 doctors and paramedical staff to a guest house, providing them single rooms with attached bathroom and toilet facilities.Till Wednesday evening, Rae Bareli had reported 43 COVID-19 cases, all of them active.In a video, a man, identifying himself as a medical officer, describes the space where they are meant to sleep, four beds spread in a room: “It is 3 a.m. The electricity is gone. Fans are not working. This is awesome five-star class facility.” He then walks towards the shared toilet space, which has a dirty and stained floor, and shows the toilets, some of which are choked and dirty.

‘Food not packed properly’ – In another video, a voice describes the food given to the medical staff. The oily puris and sabzi are sealed together inside a cloth bag without any proper packing. “This is the food for active quarantine for doctors and all staff who are treating Coronavirus patients,” it says.

In a third video, a person in full PPE kit explains how they are made to live in conditions that go against active quarantine norms. Not only do they have to share bathrooms and toilets, they are boarded in big classrooms in the school with four beds in each. “…which is totally wrong for active quarantine,” he says. There was no light in the premises a day earlier and even the food provided came in late. They were also made to shared a single water can of 20 litres, he adds.

A mobile toilet was installed outside when they complained and they had no bathrooms.

S.K Sharma, chief medical officer, said, “We have shifted everyone to a guest house nearby. We are also arranging for a live kitchen there so the doctors can get hot cooked food. “The facilities [at the L1 centre] were arranged by the local administration. I was myself not satisfied with it,” he said.

Fresh food would be prepared at the guest house and the medical staff would get to select the menu, he stated. He also agreed with the assessment made by the doctors and staff at the L1 centre that the conditions they were being kept in went against the norms of quarantine and precaution.


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