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Arunachal villagers build huts to quarantine returnees

 ITANAGAR, May 31 - Residents of a remote village in Arunachal Pradesh’s East Siang district have built huts to quarantine locals returning to the settlement from other parts of the country.

Fourteen bamboo huts, with piped water and electricity, have been set up for the purpose by the residents of Debing village in Ruksin circle, a village committee member said on Sunday.

The ‘quarantine huts’ have been established a kilometre away from the village as a precautionary measure, he said.

The village, home to around 150 households, shares border with Jonai sub-division of Dhemaji district in Assam, where one COVID-19 case was reported recently.

The residents of the village have set up the huts under the supervision of the Debing Bane Kebang (village committee), its secretary Kaling Moyong said.

Around 40 people from Debing work in different parts of the country and several of them are already on their way back home, he said.

While one person who has returned from Telangana was housed in one of the huts on Saturday, four others will join him on Sunday, Moyong said.

“The returnees are being quarantined in the huts for 28 days, only after having completed the institutional quarantine period and testing negative for COVID-19. After the quarantine period in the huts, a health check-up will be conducted on the returnees and if all is well, they will be allowed to go home,” he said.

Of the 14 huts, two are for the volunteers who will monitor the returnees 24/7, Moyong said.

He said the villagers decided to set up the ‘quarantine huts’ after they received calls from local people who wished to return home.

Moyong said quarantining people during epidemics, however, has been practised by several tribes in the State since time immemorial.

The huts have been segregated as per the category of the area the person was in before his or her return, All East Siang District Students’ Union vice president Kalut Dai said.

“People returning from red zones will stay in the huts demarcated for them. Volunteers will ensure that the quarantined persons maintain social distancing and other norms,” Dai said.

Local self-help groups will provide the quarantined persons with food, he added. – PTI

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