The youths climb down only to relieve themselves, wash their clothes and when food is served thrice a day. (Express photo)
After they had spent five days quarantined on a mango tree, seven youths in West Bengal’s Purulia district have been moved to an Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) centre for isolation. The seven youths, who work in Chennai and returned to Bhangdi village on March 24, had been living on the branches of the tree after doctors asked them to stay in home quarantine.
The villagers had tied cots to the branches and also arranged for mosquito nets and plug points to charge phones. The villagers had asked the youths to not enter the village as proper isolation may not be possible at their homes. There was a separate space where the youths could relieve themselves and another area for washing clothes.
“Last night authorities came to us and saw us on the tree. They spoke to us and got all details. Then they searched for a room where we could be kept since villagers did not want us in the village. They then made arrangements at a nearby ICDS centre. This room has a toilet and ceiling fans. Beds have been put up here. We are fine now,” said Bijoy Singh Laya, one of the seven youths.
“We are also getting proper food from the village and we are maintaining hygiene and distance from others,” said Laya,adding that they are yet to get a cot and are sleeping on the floor.
“After the news broke, the authorities identified the room and now the youths are placed there. They are in isolation. None of them have any symptoms,” said Nitai Mondol, president of Balarampur Panchayat Samiti.
“It is okay with us if they are put in the ICDS centre. Since the rooms in the village are small, we cannot allow them in as isolation is not possible,” said a villager.
In Bhangdi village under Balaparampur police station villagers had quarantined these seven youths who are migrant workers and have recently returned from Chennai, on tree branches about 8 ft to 10 ft above ground. As doctors asked these youths to go for home quarantine, villagers made such arrangements for them.