Protests in Samba quarantine centre over delayed sample reports, sample collection

The quarantine centre at Thandi Khui in Samba district on Thursday witnessed violent protests by the people quarantined here who are either waiting for result of their samples or whose samples have not been taken for tests yet.

The angry people in quarantine centre are mostly migrant labourers who had come from neighbouring states for labor work, especially for sowing paddy in Jammu plains.

Some of them were agitated for not getting the report of the samples taken from them, while some were alleging that no one has come to collect their samples for testing them for COVID-19 infection.

For the last three days, the centre has been witnessing demonstrations and today, the people expressed their anger by damaging chairs and shouting slogans against the authorities concerned.

“We are here from July 1. But, no one is answering about sample reports,” said one of the protesters, while highlighting that the centre allegedly lacks cleanliness and hygienic food.

Immediately, local police and paramilitary were rushed there and the situation was controlled by convincing the protesters who wanted early reports of their samples. “Labourers are coming more and the testing facility is less. People become angry when they live in quarantine for two or three days in the centre,” said Qaiser Malik, Tehsildar of the area.

“We have a testing capacity of 250-300 per day including local contacts besides outsiders in quarantine. The number of labourers coming is 400 to 500. When the process gets delayed, people get agitated. We will ensure their testing in the next two days,” Malik said. He informed, “We have 1500 to 2000 people in this quarantine centre.”