AAPSU says will impose lockdown if Covid-19 situation worsens

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Jun 14: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on Sunday reiterated its demand for a statewide lockdown, and warned of calling a lockdown anytime soon.
Addressing reporters at the press club here, AAPSU vice president (admin) Meje Taku said, “The AAPSU will announce a lockdown anytime, anywhere, if the situation worsens. We have consulted health experts, and if they say that there is a chance of community spread, we will call for a lockdown even if the government does not.
“We are not against the government; we are only fighting for the indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh,” he said.
Referring to the report of a frontline worker testing positive for Covid-19, Taku said, “It is a signal that there is the potential for community spread in the state,” and appealed to the government to take a stand “before it is too late.”
The AAPSU also said it is strongly opposed to reopening of educational institutes before 31 August, and requested the state government to issue clear instructions on reopening of schools and colleges instead of having random notifications issued by district administrations.
“All schools and colleges should be fully prepared and hold a consultative discussion before opening educational institutes,” the union said.
Taking note of an order reportedly issued by the capital complex deputy commissioner on 12 June to discontinue food and lodging for police personnel guarding quarantine centres, the AAPSU demanded that the state government withdraw the order.
“Our police are working day and night, and the order saying that you won’t give them food or a place to stay is unjustified. How will we take care of the others if we cannot take care of our Covid warriors?” Taku said.
The AAPSU also asked the state government to classify zones as red, orange and green, and to make the quarantine centres known to residents, so that they may take precautionary measures.
It also termed the posting of health & wellness officers and nurses “irrational,” and said it was not the right time to do so.
“Initiate the transfer and posting of health & wellness officers and nurses only to places where there is a lack of health workers,” Taku said.
The union appealed for random testing and retesting of all Covid warriors for free, besides testing members of the public who wish to pay and get tested.
Its other demands included speeding up the interview process to recruit new nurses; changing the standard operating procedure for returnees by extending their stay in quarantine centres even if they test negative; carrying out rapid antibody tests of truckers and their handymen instead of thermal scanning, etc.
The AAPSU also gave out helpline numbers – 94024 50515, 82569 79944, 94360 78822 and 94366 95652 – to the public to inform if someone they know has entered the state without following the SOP.