Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhadrak: A case was registered against six inmates of a government quarantine centre in Bhadrak for violating COVID-19 social distancing norms by making a video and uploading on video-sharing social networking platform TikTok.

As per reports, all the accused are Kolkata returnees who made the video during their quarantine period at Tihidi High School under Bhatapada panchayat in Bhadrak district on Sunday.

Bhadrak SP took to Twitter to inform about the registration of case.

The Sarpanch of Bhatapada, Swarnamayee Jena, who had lodged the FIR alleged that seven persons who are residents of neighbouring Fatehpur Panchayat made TikTok videos inside the quarantine centre throwing social distancing norms to the wind.

As per Jena’s statement, the miscreants wanted to leave the quarantine centre after they tested negative in the first COVID-19 test. However, the administration had urged them to stay in the facility for the total stipulated time of quarantine as per the government guidelines. “These men have been trying to defame me. These youths are hatching a conspiracy against me designed to tarnish my image in the Panchayat,” alleged Jena.

“We have made all arrangements for them to stay in the quarantine facility. We have been providing good food and clean dormitory,” added Jena.

As per reports, the Sarpanch had repeatedly tried to pacify the inmates and urged them to complete their quarantine period in the facility before going to their homes.

In response to the incident, Odisha DGP Abhay tweeted: “Any conduct endangering safety of others in the context of #COVID19 will be strongly dealt with as per law. Our hospitality of returnees does not mean leniency towards negligence. My appeal to all returnees to follow the laid down norms while in quarantine.”

Meanwhile, as many as 22 migrants fled from Bhadrak after getting down from their bus from Surat. Instead of going to their quarantine centre at Bhandaripokhari, they disembarked from their bus few miles before their destination and fled the spot.

While the administration is looking for the escaped migrants, other returnees of the same bus were taken to the quarantine centre at Bhandaripokhari ITI.

In a separate incident at Beguniapada quarantine centre in Ganjam district, the District Collector and Ganjam SP visited the facility and pacified the agitated Surat returnees who threw food alleging delay in serving of food. The picture of the Collector and SP requesting the inmates with folding hands had gone viral on social media.