A journalist from Assam who tested positive for COVID-19 is living his worst nightmare. Kalpajyoti Saika, who works for Northeast Now is a resident of Guwahati.
Saika has raised his voice against the irregularities in food distribution among the inhabitants of containment zones.
Saika had his test done after four of his neighbours tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The state health department informed him six days later that he had also tested positive.
The following day he was taken to the Ayurvedic Medical College Hospital at Jalukbari and treated for five days. After conducting antigen test he was ruled out as negative, and was sent back to his residence for a 14-day home quarantine.
His roommate, who also tested positive and was treated at IIT-Guwahati, was sent back with ration. However, Saika and his brother did not get any supplies.
He called the emergency helpline, which forwarded his complaint. His roommate shared some of his ration with Saika, but regardless there was shortage and more than a week to cover.
Despite making calls to the health department, asking for food, there was no help. Eventually they asked him to contact the local police station.
He states, “I tried to contact Dispur Police Station and the officer-in-charge Pradip Talukdar. But there was no response. On the sixth day of home quarantine, I desperately contacted additional commissioner of police at Dispur Police Station, Himanshu Prasad Das. He asked me to send my residential address through text message. I did accordingly. However, 24 hours have passed since then, and I am yet to receive any help."
Seven days down, seven more to go, and the ration is exhausted. Saika maintains that there is no food and would have starved if it weren’t for his roommate.
“We cannot move out as it will be against the guidelines set by the government. Moreover, our house is also sealed. We are in a helpless situation.”
“At the end, I again appeal to the state Health department, I am a patient in home quarantine. Please give me food,” concluded Saika in his first hand report.