Corona Quagmire// Restriction imposed on Press

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

This was bound to happen. Media was bound to be disallowed to watch the anarchy that the State has created in matter of Corona (COVID-19). Media is debarred from watching the scenario when migrant workers arrive and also from physically observing how do the quarantine camps function.

We have exposed how mismanagement of Corona affairs by both the governments at the Center as well as in Orissa has pushed our people into utter helplessness, with Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik trying to take this pandemic as platform for their politics.

If the people are now allowed to return home from migration, why were they not granted this facility before sudden imposition of lockdown? Vidualizing the ruin of our innocent migrant workers and students under the tormenting termination of transportation all on a sudden by the PM, we had, on March 31, urged upon him to suspend the lockdown at least for 7 days to help the people reach their home. He didn’t budge and the CM didn’t bother. As a result of this , Oriyas working in other states, to whom the virus could not have affected at that initial stage of its spread,have been officially made vulnerable to the viral attack.

Now, after a month of our exclusive demand, when Orissa’s heroes of labour,are to return home, the Chief Secretary of the State has told the Press today that everybody who returns may not be permitted to enter the State, and may be forced to go back from the point of arrival if he/she has not registered as a returning migrant and if the authority on the spot considers her/him a contravener of the laws like Epidemic Diseases Ordinance,2020 and COVID-19 Regulation etc even though all these Rules and Regulations are in English that they do not know.

By debarring the Press from entering the arrival points and from observing the quarantine camps the Government ensures that its malfunctioning in Corona matters may be kept buried under its wretched carpet.

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