Agartala: Two days after Tripura invoked Essential Services Management Act (ESMA) to contain the spread of coronavirus aka COVID-19 pandemic in the state, Opposition leader and former chief minister Manik Sarkar expressed his dissatisfaction over the decision.
The act ensures that the delivery of certain services which, if obstructed, would affect the normal life of the people. This includes services like hospitals, public transport, banking, sanitation and water supply, among others.
A press release issued by the Opposition leader informed, “This is surprising that instead of taking early appropriate measures of PPE for the people involved in health services sector, the government of Tripura all on a sudden has clamped ESMA in response to the expression of concern of their health security and protection by the nurses of Govind Ballabh Pant Hospital, Agartala & Unakoti District Hospital, Kailashahar.”
The letter also cited that it was wrong on the part of the government to ignore their own weaknesses through adoption of the method of suppression. He also said that it was an objectionable, unjust and thoroughly authoritarian step.
“If the government of Tripura thinks to gag people including doctors, nurses, government officers and employees in this hour of grave crisis, how united effort will develop to confront, counter and combat COVID-19?” he questioned.
He also said, “I hope that the government would think again and withdraw the decision on imposition of draconian ESMA as early as possible.”
Earlier, the decision came soon after some nurses of the Gobinda Ballabh Pant (GBP) Hospital and Kailashahar District Hospital complained of shortage of gloves, hand sanitizers and other protective equipment.
The health department had issued a show-cause notice to all 18 nurses who had complained of shortage of masks, hand sanitizers and other medical equipment in the hospitals amid the spread of coronavirus.