Mechinagar Municipality starts to mark the houses of foreign returnees in a bid to streamline the identification processThe drive will not only help timely identification but will also help in the effective mobilisation of health workers, authorities say.
Mechinagar Municipality in Jhapa has started a drive to mark the houses with recent returnees from India and other countries.
Mayor of the municipality, Bimal Acharya, informed that the municipality started the drive to mark the houses on Saturday to streamline the identification process.
“We began this initiative to identify the houses of the people who have returned from abroad. It’s difficult to trace people without a proper system in place,” said Acharya. “Since most of the cases are being detected in foreign returnees, we are being extra cautious.”
Milan Dhimal, a resident of Ward No. 8 of the municipality, returned from Chennai in India nine days ago. His house was marked by the municipality on Sunday. “My neighbours have stopped visiting me which is good,” said Dhimal. “I think it is a necessary step to prevent the spread of the disease.”
Dashrath Khadiya, Dhimal’s neighbour, said that the municipality’s step is a necessary one. “These are unprecedented times. We will support the municipality in its efforts to flatten the curve. This move will not affect social relations in the community in the long-run as some would fear.”
Acharya says that the locals are being sensitised about the seriousness of the matter and that the locals are being encouraged to extend moral support to the marked households. “We know that these are strong measures, but we must do everything in our power to curb the spread of Covid-19. This is for the well-being of the overall community.”
According to Ananta Prakash Wasti, the Community Development Officer of the Municipality, 164 people have returned to the municipality from India and other countries since March 5. "Out of 164 returnees, 113 came from India.”
According to Acharya, the drive will not only help timely identification but will also help in the effective mobilisation of health workers. “The mark will also signify that the people in the house are in self-quarantine,” said Acharya.
Most of the returnees are in home quarantine while some of them have been kept in quarantine facilities at Satighatta in Ward No. 7, Dhaijan in Ward No. 11, Pashupati Secondary School in Ward No. 3 and Saraswati Secondary School in Ward No. 4 of the municipality.
The municipality has also started collecting the data of senior citizens. There are 5,347 senior citizens in the 15 wards of the municipality.