Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of people who were exposed to the virus were forced to go into quarantine to contain its spread. To contribute towards the relief work during this difficult time, we decided to offer our CEL for travellers seeking a safe place to stay during their quarantine period. In the first week of May, our Centre hosted a group of 29 workers from Telengana, who returned to their home town, Kundapur. Their stay was a comfortable one, and they were all praise for the efforts put in by our staff.
At CEL, we ensure that all the government recommended guidelines are followed stringently. On 13th May 2020, 2 families whose hometown is in Kundapur, arrived from Mumbai in the evening. They needed a place to stay during the 14 days quarantine that is required for any inter-state traveller. A member of the local Panchayat recommended our CEL and so we received them at 9 pm that night.
The village accountant of Gulwady Panchayat is the authorised government official appointed for the Government Quarantine Program, to contain the spread of the pandemic in and around Kundapur. As soon as the travellers arrived, our accountant Mr Nagaraj informed the Police Department, which subsequently updated the Government Health Department. The next day, the Health Department officials visited the quarantine area at CEL and checked to see if we were well versed in the required guidelines. They took the temperatures, throat swabs and blood samples of the group and sent them to Manipal, to be tested for the COVID-19 virus. Every 3 days, the health officials visited the quarantined guests to check if they had any symptoms of the virus.
As our Centre is now an approved Quarantine Centre, during the 14 days that we hosted the quarantined travellers, we were allotted 24/7 police security, as per the government regulations. The purpose of the police security was to prevent the quarantined people from leaving the quarantine area until they were given clearance to leave by the government officials. We did our best to see that all the government guidelines were followed. Safe distance marking was done, to remind our guests of this important procedure. They were asked to restrict themselves to their accommodation area, and the open space in front of the accommodation was available to them for recreation and exercise. They used the washing area to wash their clothes, and all their meals were served to them in the corridor near their accommodation.
Arun Poojari with his family of 4 and Jagdish Poojari with his family of 5 were the travellers who stayed at our CEL. They were very accommodating and for the most part, they stayed in their rooms, or within the quarantine area. Two toilets were allotted to them, which they kept spick and span, along with their rooms. They used a stick to innovatively switch on the generator whenever required.
Subsequently, we talked with Arun Poojari about the quarantine support that we provided at CEL. He was deeply appreciative of the care and concern shown by our staff and was content with all the arrangements made for their stay. Their relatives provided them with food every day, and they spent their time playing badminton and simply taking in the ambience of the peaceful surroundings.
2 days before the end of the quarantine period, the health officials visited CEL for the last throat swab and blood samples. These were sent to Manipal for the final test. The test results came back negative, so we had to get the final clearance from the Tahshildar, through the village accountant. Incidentally, the Tahshildar is the Taluk Magistrate of 165 villages in and around Kundapur. Once we received the Clearance Certificate, the travellers were free to return to their homes.
On 26th May, on completion of the quarantine period, the 2 families left for their homes, with a lot of good memories of their peaceful stay. Arun Poojari thanked our staff for the excellent hospitality and care, and promised to return to CEL with his family for a short stay. He was very interested in the work that we are doing and offered to contribute to our projects at a later date.
Finally, the Panchayat workers arrived at CEL and fumigated the accommodation area, toilets, corridor and railings to complete the quarantine process. Once again, FSL India successfully hosted quarantined travellers and we look forward to taking care of the next lot.