Mrunal Manmay Dash

Berhampur: The Ganjam district administration has imposed Section-144 at and around all COVID19 temporary medical camps/institutional quarantine centres where migrants have been quarantined by the government following their return from other states, mostly from Gujarat's Surat.

As per the ordered passed by district Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange, no persons will be allowed to enter within 100 metres radius of the quarantine centres.

Kulange has directed all Superintendent of Police, Sub-Divisional Magistrates, Executive Magistrates and IICs of police stations to keep a close watch on the quarantine centres so that unauthorised roaming around the centres could be thwarted.

He further stated that "Complaint will be lodged against the individual if found violating this order."

The Collector's order came soon after a viral video of a quarantine centre at Seragada in the district surfaced on the social media where people were seen visiting their kins who were quarantined by the government following their return from other states.

The video showing the visuals is doing rounds on the social media revealing the lapses at the quarantine centre that raised serious question on the management of these centres and the conduct of the returnees.

The video was particularly disconcerting at a time when the district of Ganjam is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases mainly because of the influx of thousands of migrants to the district from Coronavirus hit states like Maharashtra and Gujarat.

As per reports, the quarantine centre shown in the video is at Gothagaon upper-primary school under Seragada block in Ganjam district in which more than 80 Surat returnees were quarantined and their relatives could be seen delivering food and paan to the boarders at the gate. While the social distancing norms and quarantine rules were seen to have gone in smoke at the centre, the people guarding the quarantine centre were nowhere to be seen.

Earlier, over 100 Surat-returned migrant labourers had fled from two COVID-19 quarantine centre at Beguniapada block in Ganjam district on 3 May 2020. However, all the 128 escapees were later caught by the police who flouted quarantine rules.