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Quarantine centre at Tezpur varsity campus opposed

By Correspondent

TEZPUR, May 6 - The Tezpur University fraternity has expressed strong resentment over Sonitpur district administration�s move to requisition the varsity campus for facilitating it as an institutional quarantine centre for the people stranded outside the State who are coming back to their native place.

In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 as per State health department�s directions, the district administration has set up a zonal screening venue at Tezpur Central University, Napaam to screen all people belonging to Udalguri, Sonitpur, Biswanath, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji districts who will be returning from outside the State.

The Community Hall along with the playground of Tezpur University is being used for screening of passengers, while the ring road around the playground will be used for parking of vehicles. The Kendriya Vidyalaya inside the campus will be used for setting up an institutional quarantine facility to accommodate around 250 persons.

Moreover, it is learnt that the Bijit Saikia Indoor Stadium and Polo Field in the town will also be used to set up a 100-bed institutional quarantine centre. Two quarantine facilities are already operational in Sirajuli and Kusumtola model hospitals in the district with a combined strength of around 100 beds.

It may be noted that as the government has initiated measures to bring back people of Assam stranded outside the State, Tezpur, Kokrajhar, Guwahati, Silchar and Jorhat have been selected to set up zone-wise screening centres.

Mandatory registration, screening and quarantine for all people will be carried out in these centres in a bid to reduce the possibility of community transmission from probable COVID-19 positive patients. People who test negative after 14 days of compulsory quarantine will be allowed to go home.

District administration sources revealed that the people, who do not want to avail institutional quarantine will be able to book hotels at their own expense and choose to quarantine themselves at such hotels as identified by the authorities.

Expressing grave concern over the district administration�s decision to use the Tezpur University campus as a quarantine centre for the migrant workers, Dr Birendra Kumar Das, Registrar and Dr Rajib Kumar Doley, Director, Centre for Inclusive Development, said the TU campus is a residential one where a number of aged people and children live.

�Since we have not noticed any proper barricading for the purpose, the quarantined people and the campus dwellers will use certain common facilities like running water, drains, etc., leading to community transmission of COVID-19 if even a single quarantined person carries the dreaded virus with him/her,� they said, adding, �Moreover, the students will come back in July to complete their final semester examinations as per UGC guidelines.�

The academicians said that since it is an emergency issue there is nothing to raise objection, but since administration and the health department have failed to carry out the act as per the guidelines of the disaster management authority, now the TU staff as well as the foreign students in the hostels are in panic that they would be infected by the deadly virus.

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