Former health minister and MLA Sudip Roy Barman at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Youth Hostel on Sunday

Agartala: The West Tripura district magistrate Sandeep N Mahatme on Sunday served a memo to former health minister Sudip Roy Barman asking him to undergo seven days’ institutional quarantine followed by seven days‘ home quarantine, hours after he visited the COVID Care Centre (CCC) set up at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Youth Hostel.

Roy Barman, who is also a sitting BJP MLA, on Sunday visited Bhagat Singh Youth Hostel which falls under his assembly constituency to meet with the patients, wearing a PPE kit, and also distributed dry fruits among all the 280 positive inmates at the centre.

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The memo served by the West Tripura district magistrate informed that the former minister and MLA had entered the COVID care centre ‘unauthorisedly’ and exposed himself to COVID patients there, putting himself at a high risk of contracting the virus.

Reacting to the memo, Roy Barman said that the order issued by the district magistrate was issued under duress and it is part of conspiracy by some groups with vested interest to expose him to the virus.

“I have neither tested positive, nor have I violated any of the guidelines or protocol set by the government as on August 2,“ Roy Barman said.

He also said that his visit to the COVID Care Centre was not unauthorized since the director of health services, medical superintendent of Govind Ballabh Pant (GBP) hospital were informed of his visit well in advance.

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“I had visited the COVID Care Centre after a video clip of a pregnant woman admitted at Bhagat Singh Youth Hostel went viral on social media. The patient had a complaint of an unhygienic and dirty atmosphere at the CCC. I was wearing a PPE kit during my visit and also maintained social distancing from the patients,” Roy Barman added.

Roy Barman also questioned the district magistrate on how Superintendent of Police, District Magistrate and Sabhadipati of Sepahijala district despite testing positive were allowed to remain at home isolation.

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Roy Barman in his response wrote, “You have asked me to remain in institutional quarantine at the RSTI Quarantine Centre AD Nagar, though I have not been tested or having any symptoms and not being advised by a medical officer”.

“It seems some persons with vested interest are trying to put me intentionally in the RSTI Quarantine Centre so that I can easily come in contact with others who have been tested positive, which would be hazardous to my health,” Barman wrote.

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He further said that he wouldn’t be available for either home or facility quarantine unless he is tested or clinically assigned as COVID-19 positive.

So far, two MLAs — one each from the ruling BJP, Ramapada Jamatia and IPFT Dhananjoy Tripura — have tested positive for COVID-19.

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