Itanagar: “State’s health department is mum, so we had to come forward to warn the denizens of capital complex of a possible community transmission,” said Meje Taku, vice president, All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU). Taku was addressing a press conference at Arunachal Press Club in Itanagar on Wednesday.
Considering the gravity of the situation (possible community transmission), the students organisation has demanded immediate declaration of lockdown in the Capital Complex for three to seven days.
The students’ union also demanded this in their submission to the Itanagar Capital Complex (ICC) deputy commissioner, Komkar Dulom, on Tuesday.
A team of the students’ union, led by its president Hawa Bagang and general secretary Tobom Dai, called on the deputy commissioner on Tuesday.
The submission followed an assessment of the situation in the aftermath of two frontline workers testing positive at State Quarantine Centre, Lekhi village, without coming in direct contact with any positive patients.
The students’ union said an immediate declaration of lockdown would enable swift contact-tracing of the first and second contacts and help break the possible chain of community transmission in the capital region.
“With the rising COVID-19 cases especially in the state capital, it has been observed that people have not been following safety measures strictly. Many can be seen flouting social-distancing norms and without masks on the road,” Bagang said.
Before any COVID-19 positive cases, there was strict lockdown across the state.
But in direct contrast, it is surprising to see that people are carrying on with their daily activities, at a time when the state is witnessing an increase in the number positive cases, he added.
The president of the students’ union said sensing the untold miseries being faced by the healthcare and other frontline workers, it has placed a demand for arrangement of accommodation, food and other facilities for them at the quarantine centres.
At present, many such officials and workers commute from their homes, directly or indirectly putting their families at risk, Bagang said.
He added that all officials and frontline workers should be properly tested before they are relieved from their duties. “This is an important aspect that the district administrations across the state and the department of health should seriously look into,” he said.
It urged the state capital and the ICC administration to treat its concerns with all seriousness.
“If the results of all the persons tested as primary and secondary contacts come as positive, a decision should be taken within tomorrow (Wednesday). Otherwise, we will be compelled to declare a capital lockdown for safety and security of the people of the state,” Bagang said.
Calls made to secretary health, P Parthiban remained unanswered till the filing of this copy.