State Quarantine Centre in Deplorable Condition: Lekhi, Arunachal Pradesh

PIL 6 of 2020, Sange Dakpa Loda versus Union of India | Bench of Arunachal Pradesh, High Court Guahati | Status: Disposed off with directions | |

The petitioner and his colleagues had carried out a fact-finding by interacting and getting in touch with people who have lived and are still living in State Quarantine Centre, Lekhi, Capitol, Arunachal radish. The objective of the fact-finding was to see whether the patients living in quarantine centers are being properly provided with all basic necessities. Also whether the facility is maintain as per the Guidelines for Quarantine Facilities COVID 19 and Considerations for quarantine of individuals in the context of containment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) issued by WHO.

The State Quarantine Center, Lekhi, Capitol, Arunachal Pradesh is a 3 storey building wherein 2-3 patients are kept in a room. An article with title “Arunachal: COVID-19 patients in Lekhi quarantine centre complain of poor facilities” dated 16.07.2020 was published by EASTMOJO. The patients living in the Quarantine center are complaining of poor facilities.

Patient at the quarantine facility are suffering severely not only on account of their illness but also due to the negligence of the government authorities. One patient’s states that when first arrived at the facility, there was dust everywhere in the room, bedsheets were not cleaned, bathroom was filthy and the ceiling fan was not working. The place was not inhabitable for a covid-19 positive patient who required utmost care and hygiene to fight the disease. To make the matters worse, the patients were made to clean the rooms as no one was willing to do it in spite of repeated requests by the patients. Some of the patients had to carry the basic things like bedsheets, bucket, mug, soap, shampoo, etc. As the sanitation workers were not willing to work, the patients helped each other at the facility.    

Another major problem was doctors and nurses were occasionally visiting the quarantine Centre. Also food provided at the facility does not meet the requirements of essential vitamins to fight the disease. The patients are provided with cheap powdered milk and bad food quality.  It is essential for patients to get proper food in order to increase immunity and fight the disease.

There a PIL (No. 6/2020) was filed and an order was passed dated 04.09.2020 constituting a Fact Finding Committee (FFC), comprising of 5 members, to make a ground assessment on functioning and maintenance of the Covid Care Centre, Lekhi. Thereafter on 10.09.2020 the report was submitted by the committee were it stated that the quarantine centre is functioning as per protocol except providing psychosocial support. The matter was disposed off with a direction to the respondent authorities to take necessary steps for providing psychosocial support to the inmates at Covid Care Centre, Lekhi, as provided in Clause 15.0 of the Guidelines.