Coronavirus in Mumbai: Some kept for 25 days under isolation, many never tested, say people in quarantine

Updated: 20 April, 2020 08:16 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

Those undergoing quarantine complain of mistreatment at various isolation centres across the city

A quarantine centre at Dharavi. Pic/Ashish Raje
A quarantine centre at Dharavi. Pic/Ashish Raje

Twenty-five days into the lockdown, several people put up at quarantine centres across the city have started to complain about the mistreatment they are facing. Some claim that they have been quarantined for 25 days; some others say that even after 20 days their samples have not been collected while the rest claim that their samples have been taken multiple times saying that the previous ones were damaged. Disappointed with the authorities concerned, people have now taken to social media to air their grievances.

Changed three centres
A 22-year-old Malvani resident, who had helped to carry out the last rites of a 60-year-old patient who died due to COVID-19, said, "I was quarantined on April 1 at Shatabdi Hospital along with the deceased's family members. They were released a few days ago but I was kept at Shatabdi for eight days and then shifted to Bhabha Hospital on April 9 and then to a MHADA building in Powai on April 11. All this time I was not tested for COVID-19.

He added, "Only after I put up videos of this mistreatment on social media, some people came and took my samples. But I haven't been informed about the results yet. I belong to a very poor family. My parents are senior citizens and sister is deaf and mute. There is nobody apart from me to take care of them. I request the authorities concerned to give me the test results as I have completed 20 days of quarantine."

Unending quarantine
A 45-year-old builder, who had helped his neighbour – an asthma patient – reach Rajawadi Hospital, told mid-day, "He died before his COVID-19 test results came, however the doctors said that it was a suspected case. Five days after he was buried, a BMC team came to my house and took all the family members to a quarantine centre but we were later asked to return, as there was no clarity on whether the patient had died due to novel Coronavirus. Again two days later a BMC team came and took us to Bhabha Hospital where the doctors again refused to keep us in quarantine."

He added, "The third time they came in a private vehicle and took us to a centre in Powai where six days later I was told that my 11-year-son has tested positive for COVID-19. There are about 250 people who have completed their quarantine period but are not being released. We are facing a lot of difficulties here. We don't have enough clothes and are not getting proper food as well. Cleaning started to happen only after I shared some videos of the mismanagement on social media."
Social worker, Nizamuddin Shaikh, who has been getting calls from people who are being mistreated at quarantine centres, said, "People are telling me that they are being quarantined for no reason at all.

Some of them are not allowed to go even after completing 14 days of quarantine and test samples of some are being taken multiple times but results are not being shared with them. Also, seven members of the Tablighi Jamaat who were quarantined at a hotel in Vile Parle on March 23, were released six days later, but here people's samples are being taken multiple times. I have written to the authorities concerned about this mess."

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First Published: 20 April, 2020 07:10 IST

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