100 patients block Assam highway over complaints of no good food and water at COVID care centre
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jul 17, 2020, 03:36 pm
Tensions turned high on Thursday after around a hundred patients in a COVID Care Centre in Assam's Kamrup district broke out and took to the roads to block National Highway 31. The patients alleged that they were not being provided with proper food and water. Kamrup Deputy Commissioner Kailash Kartik and a few police personnel rushed to the spot in Changsari and asked the patients to return to the COVID Care centre. Assuring them that their statements would be heard, he told them to not block the highway while also adding that the matter can be resolved through discussions.
Among the grievances the patients put forward, they stated they were not provided with food and water while adding that the condition of the beds given to them were not up to the mark. They also said that almost 10-12 patients were being kept in a single room.
Assam's Health and Family Welfare minister Himanta Biswa Sarma addressed the situation and stated that patients can opt for home quarantine in case they are not happy at the COVID care facility. Speaking at a press conference, he said, "We have brought them to the facility so that they can be cured and do not infect others. If they are not happy there, they can sign the undertaking and go under home quarantine,".
Mr Sarma also stated, "The health workers are on duty day and night and there may have been some delay as they are overburdened,". He then added saying, "In other states, even the testing is conducted on payment but in Assam, the entire expenditure - from testing to their stay and food - are borne by the state government,".
Assam has so far recorded more than 20,000 coronavirus cases with over 1,000 fresh cases reported on Thursday. More than 13,000 people have made a recovery with the active cases tally currently standing at over 7,000 while nearly 50 patients have succumbed to their deaths to date due to the fatal effects of the disease.