ITANAGAR, Apr 19: Serious lapse in management of the Covid-19 crisis in the state has surfaced once again as the medical authority allegedly attempted to go soft on the personal security officer (PSO) and two drivers of the Lower Subansiri SP who were returning from Delhi in a Toyota Innova car (AR-01K-7744).
The PSO and the drivers were returning after dropping off the SP in Delhi, where he had to rush to on account of a family member requiring urgent medical treatment.
On their way back, the PSO took the drivers to his residence in Muzaffarabad, Bihar, and halted there for nine hours before proceeding to Itanagar.
“While coming back from Delhi, we did not stop at any hotel. I went to my home in Muzaffarabad and rested there for at least nine hours,” said the PSO over the phone.
Reportedly, they reached the Hollongi check post at around 2:10 in the morning.
The PSO said that, after undergoing the medical formalities at the check post, they parked the car near the police headquarters guest house, and slept in the car till 5:30 am.
The incident came to light when the medical officer at the Hollongi check post, Dr Subu Onia, alerted the coordinator of the quarantine centres, Dr Gomi Basar, at around 7 am about the trio’s entry, as they had come from Delhi, which is a ‘red zone’ of coronavirus infection.
Drama ensued when Dr Basar along with Papum Pare DMO, Dr Subu Tasso Kampu, were taking the PSO and the two drivers to Yupia for quarantine and sample collection. It is alleged that Drs Basar and Kampu were pressurized by Capital Complex DMO, Dr Mandip Perme, to let the trio go straight to Ziro, claiming that he (Dr Perme) was getting calls from the home department and the government.
Deciding not to yield to the pressure to go soft on the OSD and the drivers, Dr Basar made a video statement, saying that the PSO and the drivers were supposed to be quarantined as they had come from a red zone, but he (Dr Basar) was receiving orders from higher up to let them continue their journey to Ziro.
When contacted, Dr Perme denied the allegation and said he did not pressurize anyone.
“Definitely I was talking about the SOP issued last night. We should not blame game each other. This is the time to contain the spread of Covid-19. Anyway, the matter has been solved. I called him (Dr Basar) repeatedly but he didn’t receive my calls,” said Dr Perme.
He added: “At that time, myself, DC and SP, we were at a videoconference with the chief secretary and the state team. So I instructed the other team with ambulance to pick up the three persons immediately and do lab tests and keep them at FQ till the results are out.”
Controversy erupted after Dr Basar’s video recording found its way to social media. It is learnt that the PSO and the drivers were later taken to the quarantine centre in Yupia and swab samples have been collected from them.
Meanwhile, another two persons, who returned from Gorakhpur in UP, have been put under quarantine in Yupia. They had gone to Gorakhpur from Itanagar on medical grounds, to attend to a PWD JE’s wife, who was in need of urgent medical help. They returned to Itanagar on Sunday.
On being contacted, Health Secretary P Parthiban said, “We are issuing passes based on emergency requirement at pan-India level. We have also issued passes for renal replacement, emergency requirements, and other medical conditions.”