With test results delayed, it is a longer stay at quarantine centre for many
The delay in getting COVID-19 test results has forced many people, who have travelled from different States, to remain in quarantine centres for more than 14 days in Hassan and Chikkamagaluru districts. They have demanded that the government get the results at the earliest and release them as they have completed the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The district authorities have provided accommodation for the travellers in hostels and hotels designated as quarantine centres. Those who have chosen hotels have to pay ₹750 per day. Now, they have to pay more from their pocket as they are staying for a longer period.
Delay in taking swabs
“We reached Hassan on May 11. But, the administration did not take our throat swab samples for laboratory tests immediately,” said a man who has returned from Mumbai with his family. The authorities took the samples on May 22, the 11th day of their quarantine period. “It has been four days since the officers took our samples, but there is no result yet. Meanwhile, we completed 14 days of quarantine on Sunday itself,” he said on Tuesday.
Besides the financial implications, they all have complaints about poor facilities in hotels. “We agree, there cannot be room cleaning services during this time. But, there is none to clear the waste collected in the dustbins on the corridors. We have to wash our clothes inside the room and dry them within the four walls of the room,” he said.
Similarly, those in hostels, to whom the government provides food, have been waiting for the test results. Around 15 people quarantined in Chikkamagaluru city, on Wednesday, threatened to stage a protest if they were not allowed to go out. The people at the quarantine centres have circulated their video statements saying they would not stay there for long. All of them have completed 14-day quarantine period, yet the results of their samples are not known. The samples collected in Chikkamagaluru are sent to Hassan for laboratory tests.
The laboratory in Hassan can test 250 samples in a day. However, it has been getting more samples every day. “We are getting samples from Chikkamagaluru as well. To clear the pendency, we had sent 487 samples to Bengaluru. We have discharged 413 quarantined people after receiving their test results,” said Deputy Commissioner R. Girish on Wednesday.