State should prepare for returnees

The government of Arunachal is starting to collect information of all the Arunachalees stranded outside the state. Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday shared on social media an online form which is to be filled by the stranded Arunachalees. Various community-based organizations have also started to collect information in this regard. It looks like the government of Arunachal is working out a strategy to bring back these Arunachalees to the state. Many of them, especially students, are reportedly facing a harrowing time due to the nationwide lockdown which started on 24 March.
Experts believe that around three to four thousand Arunachalees are currently stranded in various parts of the country. While there is no doubt that these people deserve to be back home with their loved ones, the move is fraught with danger. Many of these people will come back from states where high numbers of Covid-19 cases have been reported. Therefore the government should plan in advance on how to deal with the situation. The health department has already complained that many people who have been put on home quarantine are not following the directives. So, how is state government going to keep a tab when so many people come back within a space of a few days? It would be better to set up more government-run quarantine centres. The new arrivals should be put in these centres under strict monitoring. Besides deploying officials of the health department, the police also should be deployed in these quarantine centres, so that no one dares to violate the directives. Unless such drastic measures are adopted, not many will cooperate.