Lucknow: As the number of positive cases continues its upward trend, one key issue of concern for the authorities is running away of people from quarantine facilities in the rural areas.
Lakhs of migrant workers who came back to Uttar Pradesh ever since the lockdown was imposed have been kept at quarantine facilities in and around their villages and the responsibility to ensure that they remain in quarantine for the designated time has been entrusted with the local village chiefs.
There have been several reports of villagers running away from quarantine in districts like Azamgarh, Sitapur, Raebareli, Sultanpur, Hathras and Lakhimpur Kheri with the administration being forced to take against the violators.
An FIR was lodged against nine people in Raebareli on Thursday for escaping from a primary school that has been turned into an isolation centre at Kubna village under Maharajganj Tehsil.
All of them were charged under sections 269, 270 and 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with several clauses of the Disaster Management Act.
The district magistrate of Raebareli has also ordered another FIR against 19 people from Nasirabas, Deeh and Salon for not following the quarantine rules.
In Sultanpur district, 26 people who were quarantined at Faridpur village in Gosaiganj fled from the second floor of a facility with the help of rope that they made out of a cloth. Police said all the 26 were arrested soon after they escaped on March 31.
In Hathras district, cases were lodged under sections 269, 270 of the IPC and Section 4 of the Epidemic Diseases Act against 29 people who ran away from a quarantine facility at Sarabar village under the Sadabad area.
Hathras DM Praveen Kumar Laxkar said, “A panchayat secretary, who was in charge of ensuring that the villagers don’t escape the facility, has been suspended and a case was lodged under relevant sections.”
In Lakhimpur Kheri, a family from Thariya Pipriya village has alleged that their 25-year-old son allegedly hanged himself after he was thrashed by policemen for escaping from local quarantine facility.
The deceased had returned from Gurgaon recently where he used to work in a private firm. The local superintendent, Poonam said, “The youth was found roaming outside the village instead of staying inside the quarantine facility during the time of verification. Two policemen from Maigalganj had an altercation with him. Both have been sent to the lines, while an investigation is underway.”
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath recently said that if anyone is found missing from a quarantine facility, the local police chief and district magistrate will be held responsible for the same.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi said, “The CM has said the responsibility lies with the local police chief and district magistrate to ensure that people follow quarantine rules.”
The total number of confirmed cases in Uttar Pradesh reached 174 on Friday with 53 people testing positive on Friday. Many of the new patients are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat event held in the Nizamuddin area in Delhi in mid-March.
However, according to the official data of UP State Health Department, the maximum number of cases was recorded from Gautam Buddh Nagar with 50 people testing positive till date. This was followed by 25 positive cases in Meerut and 19 cases in Agra.