People defy social distancing in Bokajan

BOKAJAN, MAY 20 ( AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 5/20/2020 9:55:27 AM IST

As the world grapples with Covid-19 pandemic, lockdown advisory and the social distancing guideline went for a toss on Tuesday as hundreds gathered outside the Labour office here to enroll for free government cash transfer to uncategorized workers under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008.

“We are collecting the forms for registration under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act as the government is considering provision of some aid to those who are not classified and belong to the unorganised sector like self-employed, farmer, auto driver and anyone who have lost their job in this ongoing crisis. The rush outside is due to the lack of awareness,” said Labour Inspector Dilip Kumar Deori.

Two policemen were deployed at the gate to strictly ensure guideline advisory but they too failed in managing the rush of beneficiaries. The same was the situation outside various banks and ATMs in other parts of the district. 

Lack of adequate awareness at the community level have exposed the ground situations here which  resulted in long queues of people standing next to each other barely a feet away in total violation of social distancing norms and guidelines.

It needs to be mentioned that the government have brought in several cash transfer schemes to promote social security and to help poor amid the covid crisis. However, a disturbing trend of people gathering in hundreds to withdraw the free cash credited in their Jan Dhan accounts by throwing social distancing norms to winds have raised alarm among the concerned residents in this hill district of Karbi Anglong.

With a continuous rise in the number of COVID-19 positive cases, it is necessary that people acknowledge the importance of strict social distancing as people are to coexist with the corona threat for a long time. 

Prem Tamang, a migrant labour who had recently returned from Chennai and was undergoing quarantine in a hotel in Diphu tested positive of COVID-19 on Tuesday. He is the first COVID positive patient in the hill district of Karbi Anglong.

Meanwhile, the administration has discarded all rumours claiming that there are COVID-19 positive patients undergoing hotel quarantine in Bokajan town. Swab sample of 52 returnees undergoing quarantine in Bokajan have been collected and reports are awaited. The Bokajan administration is expecting over 800 returnees to Bokajan town in the next couple of weeks.

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