While the world is grappling with an invisible enemy, people are trying to understand how to live with the threat posed by a virus. The coronavirus hit us by surprise, and consumed us within months. Nobody predicted that it would kill so many people, force countries to lockdown, shut schools and public spaces and put our life on hold. But we can’t be paralyzed with the fear of a virus forever and thus in this endeavour the State Government has facilitated the homecoming of thousands of stranded Sikkimese home to reunify them with their respective families in this difficult times.
South District Administration has set up a number of quarantine facilities ( paid and free) under South District to put up the returnees belonging to South district. One such facility is the Sumbuk Senior Secondary school (SSS) facility quarantine (FQ) that was added to the list of already existing quarantine facilities and was set up following the official notification on 21st May 2020. SDM Namchi Shri. Agawane Rohan is the Nodal officer of this free of cost quarantine facility and BDO Sumbuk Shri. Kiran Thatal is the Incharge of this free of cost facility. This facility under Melli constituency is being manned with a systematic regime and management who are following all health and safety protocol issued by the Health & Family Welfare Department.
Sumbuk SSS facility quarantine has a capacity to accommodate a total strength of 90 returnees at a time. The four storey structure is divided as per requirement where the top floor of the building is dedicated to the police and medical team while the rest of the three levels are for returnees. Keeping in mind the social stigma and fear amongst the public of the locality regarding housing the returnees, the administration has ensured reasonable sealing up of the quarantine premises where entry and exit of people are regulated at all times. The registration and record book of the people housed at the FQ is also being maintained by the staff of BAC Sumbuk for reference and documentation purposes. As for the living quarters for the returnees, rooms have been allocated duly maintaining the social distancing accord of 5 meters. The returnees staying at each level also have the ease of using nine individual bathrooms and restrooms at a time on the same floor which aids hygiene as well as ease of movement for them. It is also befitting to add here that in order to comply with the social distancing norms, Sumbuk SSS facility quarantine is currently utilising its hall where a total of seven to eight people are being accommodated while the authorities have allotted a medium sized room to a maximum of three to four people to avoid overcrowding. The officials have also ascertained that the food served to the returnees housed at the centre is both nutritious and palatable at the same time. Other needs of recreation are also well taken care of by the centre which includes people of all ages coming from various walks of life.
Though the District Administration is doing their best in providing the best support and logistic assistance to the returnees of South Sikkim it is also our duty as responsible citizens to follow the norms of social distancing while going about our daily activities. We can start with the simple practice of vigilant hand washing, hand hygiene, keeping hand sanitizer with us in a ready supply wherever we might be. We can also avert people about the stigma associated with Corono Virus. Having an attitude of gratitude towards the healthcare workers including doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals as well as safaikarmacharis and police personnel who are all rendering their services tirelessly in this situation of crisis is the way forward.