Guwahati: Jayanta Kalita, a Delhi based senior journalist, is furious. After undergoing 8 days of institutional quarantine at a hotel in Bongaigaon, he was asked to spend another 14 days in home quarantine.
He reached Bongaigaon from Delhi on the June 1 and got admitted to an institutional quarantine centre. His swab samples were taken on June 2, which subsequently tested negative. However, to his utter surprise, the health department issued a release letter asking Kalita to be home quarantined till June 22.
Dismayed, Kalita took to Twitter and wrote to the state health minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, “I’m a Delhi journalist; came to Assam on June 1, spent 8 days in inst quarantine. Now, health dept has issued a release letter asking me to be in home qurtn till June 22 — bizarre!! Isn’t it a 7+7 norm; what’s the logic of 22-day qurtn”
According to government norms, anyone (except lone woman traveler and senior citizens) traveling via flights or by trains needs to undergo mandatory institutional quarantine till they are declared asymptomatic. After that, they are required to spend the rest of the days in-home quarantine. Overall, according to standing norms, such persons must go for total quarantine period of 14 days.
If the person was in institutional quarantine from June 1 and then was released on June 9, he or she should be in home quarantine for another five days till June 14 and not June 22, sources in state health department on condition of anonymity said .
Furthermore, sources in DC office in Bongaigaon even stated that such things should not have taken place as there are no rules as of now for a district to add on extra days for home quarantine given that the person is asymptomatic.
Team EastMojo reached out to ADC, Bongaigaon, Anupam Deka, who said, “Earlier we would have given 14 more days of home quarantine but, as of now, we are still following the 7 + 7-day pattern. The 7 +7 pattern includes seven days of institutional quarantine and seven days of home quarantine, which accumulates to a total of 14 days.”
“Are the district administration not aware of the norms that are issued by the Centre” questioned Kalita adding, “If we are to follow separate quarantine for states and districts it becomes nothing but harassment of local people.”