Don’t Take it as Criticism Says Local Resident While Questioning Andaman Administration

Port Blair, May 24: A month after the last corona positive case was detected from the containment zone of Pema, Calicut, Teylerabad and adjoining areas, the containment operations though has been scaled down officially, but there seems to be no relief to the sufferings of the people inside. Mustering all courage, a young islander who is a resident of Pema in South Andaman has posed questions before the Hon’ble Prime Minister and others concerned including the Lt. Governor, Chief Secretary, Dy. Commissioner, South Andaman seeking clarifications.

Dr. Yasmin in a letter to the Prime Minister states, “I am a citizen of India, born and brought up in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. I wish to inform that the area where I reside (Pema, Calicut) has been sealed after it was declared as a containment zone by the authorities of the Andaman & Nicobar Administration. It has been more than one month after the last corona positive case was reported from our area but the area is still being continued as Containment Zone.

“Here I wish to quote the Andaman & Nicobar’s Statement which was issued in the press which states, ”After the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare’s updated directions on Containment Zones, which  stated that the containment operation shall be deemed to be over 28 days from the last confirmed case following negative tests as per discharge policy, the Andaman & Nicobar Administration has declared the containment operations in the areas as ‘over’. However surveillance will be continued for ILI/ SARI”. This was stated on 7th May 2020, when the Administration declared the Zone 1 as safe zone, taking back all containment activities.

“After having the administration's order dt. 18/05/20 (enclosed) the statement of the Andaman & Nicobar Administration on scaling down of the containment zone, I went upto the police barricades and explained things to the respective authorities. But I was told that people inside containment zones are not allowed to move out even for medical needs. I was given the contact number of a concerned official in the Deputy Commissioner’s Office, South Andaman, who explained me that they have been doing their duty day and night and I should act as a responsible citizen to understand the seriousness of disease and stop disturbing them”.

Being well aware of the dire consequences of questioning the authorities in the Andaman & Nicobar Administration, Yasmin cleared, “I do not wish to criticize or bring the authorities in bad light as I understand well the nature of the duties they have been entrusted. They have been working day and night to ensure the safety of the islanders. Yet I fail to understand why places like Pema, Calicut and Teylarabad are still kept under containment zones even after more than a month since the last positive case was reported. I am raising this query since I don't have any other option rather than questioning, being a citizen of independent India”.

“From last update on scaling down of containment zone, I understood that there was a positive case from this area on 20th April 2020. The MHA guidelines suggest that the status of containment zone should be updated every week. The Health Ministry has also mentioned that Indians should learn to live with Corona. After all this, why are we sealed inside a geographical area as containment zone”, she expressed.

“There are regular home screenings in our area. I express my gratitude to all those Asha workers and other ground level staffs who are working hard for home screening and other necessary ground works. I am also thankful to the Administration for the surveillance activities. Yet my question remains as to why we still remain in containment zone even when there is no positive case since more than one month. Why is that the whole geographical area is still sealed, when the Administration has done a good scale contact tracing work of all positive corona cases”.

The youngster taking it hard on the Andaman Administration mentioned that the general public of Andaman and Nicobar Islands have acted very responsively towards the pandemic disease following all rules and guidelines issued by the Andaman Administration from time to time. Yet I strongly feel that there is no justified reason to continue our area as containment zones after the guidelines of the MHA which was implemented by the A&N Administration in containment zone 1.

“The only information I am seeking is, when will all the restrictions imposed by the Administration on this zone be taken back and when will the people of this zone be allowed to move out to do our daily necessary works which are pending from months”.

“While I put forward my genuine question, I sincerely hope that the authorities in the Andaman & Nicobar Administration does not take this as ‘criticism’ but as an information sought by a common citizen who is suffering from many factors due to the present scenario”, the young resident adds.