Covid-19: Naga youths forced to spend 24 hrs in Gujarat quarantine

HMEDABAD, MAR 22 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/22/2020 12:36:31 PM IST

 ACathy, from Nagaland has been living in Ahmedabad since 2017, working as an executive at a dental insurance company’s call centre, a report stated. 

March 20, she, along with eight of her colleagues, all from Nagaland, had to spend the night in a government quarantine facility meant for suspected patients of the coronavirus disease.

There were six women and three men in the group. None of them ticked any of the boxes that qualifies people to be treated as a suspect case. They had no physical symptoms of the disease, no foreign travel history, no apparent contact with any laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 patient.

The only reason for their plight seems to be their features, which ostensibly made someone complain to the Ahmedabad police that they could be infected by the novel coronavirus that has killed thousands worldwide. The virus is reported to have originated in China.

According to Cathy, it all began at around 7 pm on Friday when the police landed up in their office. “They told the owner of the company that some public had complained about us – that we are carrying the virus because we look like Chinese,” she said.

The owner tried to reason with the police but they would not listen. “We told them we are from Nagaland in India,” she said. The police then allegedly summoned an ambulance, which ferried them to a sports club that has been turned into quarantine centre by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Their temperatures were taken, which, according to her, turned out to be within the normal range. No blood samples or swabs were taken for further testing, she added.

As a video posted on social media went viral, the victims got solidarity calls from people belonging to the North East.

On Saturday evening, Ahmedabad police commissioner, accompanied by senior officers, arrived at the hospital. The Naga youths were finally let go at around midnight, she said. Ahmedabad police commissioner Ashish Bhatia confirmed the incident, but played it down. “Nothing went wrong,” he said. “It was very simple, they were not subjected to anything, only checking and all was done.”


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