AAPSU alleges laxity by govt in managing Covid-19

ITANAGAR, Jul 4: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has alleged laxity on the part of the state government in managing the Covid-19 situation in the state.
The union on Saturday expressed grave concern over the spurt in the number of cases in the state, particularly in the capital region.
It expressed strong objection to the government’s recent order allowing opening of religious places and places of worship and demanded immediate revocation of the order.
“With the increasing positive cases in the state, educational institutions closed and restrictions already in place for social gatherings, there is no justification or merit in allowing opening of religious places,” the AAPSU said in a representation to the chief minister.
The union said that the restrictions issued along with the opening order would be almost impossible to be strictly followed or implemented in the places of worship.
It also demanded that the government put in place a temporary restriction on people coming from other states to prevent the spread of the virus.
“While the AAPSU strongly vouches for the right of every Arunachalee to be back home and the revival of the economic activities, at the same time, we would urge for putting a temporary restriction on arrival of outsiders in the state for a period of about one month, considering the current state of affairs in the state,” it said.
The union said that a large number of people would be returning to the state as the government is slowly opening up of all activities. It linked the spurt in the number of Covid-19 positive cases, barring a few, to arrival of people from outside the state.
“It would be disastrous if the virus is spread at the community level,” it said.
The union also emphasized the need for retesting all primary and secondary contacts of the two frontline workers who tested positive for Covid-19.
“The union is of the strong opinion that all the primary and secondary contacts of the two frontline workers who tested positive at the state quarantine facility in Lekhi should be retested immediately,” it said.
As per the Covid-19 testing guidelines, the AAPSU said, “an asymptomatic direct and high-risk contact of a confirmed case is to be tested once between day 5 and day 10 of coming into contact.
“But in this instant case,” the AAPSU said, “all the primary and secondary contacts of the two positive frontline workers were reportedly tested after completing contact tracing within few days of the detection of the two positive cases, flouting the testing guidelines.
“We feel that the current negative test results of the primary and secondary contacts of the two positive workers are not accurate as these have been done in direct contravention to the Covid-19 testing strategy as prescribed by the ICMR, ministry of health & family welfare, due to which the threat and possibility of community spread of Covid-19 in the state capital is still imminent,” the union said, and strongly demanded retesting of all the primary and secondary contacts.
Stating that there have been numerous reports of non-cooperation by some of the central paramilitary forces’ (CPMF) officials entering the state, even to the extent of causing local unrest, the AAPSU said that the state government should impress upon the appropriate authorities of the CPMFs and agencies “for rendering necessary cooperation of the officials of such forces, including their family members, with the healthcare and other frontline workers of the state engaged in Covid-19 duty, especially at the check gates.”
The AAPSU also reiterated its demand for mandatory testing of drivers and handymen of all goods carriers entering the state, along with keeping proper record of such vehicles.
The union also apprised the CM of the reported shortages of healthcare workers and the institutional quarantine facilities (IQF) in the state, particularly the state capital, after the closure of the IQF at the PTC in Banderdewa.
“Further, the active patients and those already placed under quarantine should be allowed to complete their treatment properly,” it said.
“Currently, people who are discharged after testing negative are advised home quarantine, which is seldom followed. This is happening mainly due to shortage of quarantine facilities. If such temporary measures are not taken, we feel the IQFs and the existing healthcare workers won’t be able to take the load on the returnees and outsiders,” the union said.
“The indigenous population in a tribal state like ours is very less. Any pandemic as dangerous as Covid-19 has every possibility of harming our existence if due measures are not initiated,” it said, and urged the CM to consider all the points in the greater interest of the people of Arunachal.