New Delhi: Delhi Minorities Commission has written to Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain saying that the people brought to quarantine camps from Tabligh Markaz in Hazrat Nizamuddin will be completing 28 days tomorrow, Monday, 27 April 2020, which is twice the mandatory period for COVID-19 suspects’ quarantine as per the US and WHO guidelines. This means that these people are being unnecessarily kept in detention when 14 days is the longest period for the appearance of Coronavirus symptoms in an infected person. People in other quarantine centres have been allowed to go home after 14 days if they tested negative.
The Commission said in its letter signed by Chairman Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan and Member Kartar Singh Kochhar that “it will in the fitness of things that all such people who have spent 28 days in these camps and did not test positive should be allowed to go home or at least allowed to live somewhere else in Delhi while the lockdown continues.”
The Commission further said in its letter that there are thousands of inmates at present in COVID-19 quarantine camps across Delhi like Sultanpuri, Wazirabad, Narela and Dwarka etc. Supply of food and medical care is not satisfactory in these camps.
The Commission further said that these quarantined people include elderly as well as people with health issues like diabetes and heart problems. Two of them, who were diabetic, died in recent days in Sultanpuri camp due to denial of adequate medical care and failure to supply medicines and food in time.
The Commission added in its letter that this is the month of fasting, Ramzan, and most of the Muslim inmates in these camps are fasting. Under the conditions prevailing in the quarantine centres, they are finding it hard to cope with the harsh life in these camps.
The Commission said that keeping these people in detention more than twice the mandatory quarantine period is creating ill-will in the Muslim community and may lead to court cases.
In a related development, the Delhi Minorities Commission came to know that the situation in the quarantine camp at the Police Training School at Wazirabad is even worse. This camp is supervised by District Magistrate North who seemingly is oblivious of the conditions of the inmates in this camp where fans and even mugs and buckets are not provided and inmates are not allowed to buy anything from outside.
Saturday was the first day of the fasting month of Ramzan but the inmates at Wazirabad kept fast on empty stomachs because pre-dawn food was not supplied. Then for breaking their fast at sunset yesterday, they were provided each with just two bananas and three dates while again no predawn meal was provided. This is here that Jamiat Ulama stepped in and provided them with predawn food, which is a matter of shame for the administrators of the camp.
The Commission issued a notice yesterday to the District Magistrate North in this respect. On knowing that the situation did not improve in the Wazirabad camp even today, Sunday, the Commission has sent a second notice to District Magistrate North directing the DM to personally supervise the supply of the essentials, especially in-time provision of adequate food to the inmates.