Make it a priority to improve the hygiene condition of quarantine centers

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Last night was the most difficult night of my life. 

I am an Indian student studying in the US, who went to participate in an exchange program in Spain. It was a 3-month exchange program that had to abruptly end in 2 months.

Spain was in a lockdown due to the rising cases of coronavirus. The country was running out of food and we foreign nationals were asked to go back to our respective countries.

My parents back home in India insisted that I get back to New Delhi as soon as possible. 

Luckily, I got the last flight back home, and landed in our national capital on 16 March. 

After landing, we were made to wait for several hours to take the temperature test. We waited at the airport, without any food or water. They didn’t even give us any hand sanitizers to clean our hands with. 

Sign my petition to urge the government to immediately improve the hygiene conditions of the quarantine centres across the country. 

Even though my body temperature was normal, the health inspectors insisted that I, along with a few of my friends, be quarantined at a government centre for at least 24 hours, so that any test could be done. They were going to monitor us. We didn’t mind.

We were taken to the centres in dusty buses and had to fight for water. We were finally given 5 glasses of water that had to be divided among 20 people. 

The minute we reached the quarantine centres, we were made to feel like prisoners no less. The rooms were dilapidated, 2 people were sharing the same room, the washrooms had no water. There was no water to even drink!

After begging for hours, we were each given a bottle of water. Our temperature test was conducted again, and then we were given food...after almost 9 hours since we first arrived at the centre!

The washbasins had paan stains on them, the washrooms seemed like they had not been washed in days. I was scared of contracting other infections just by touching things around me.

In the evening, two more buses came filled with people above the age of 40. Some were my grandparents' age, and they were moved in with us as well. Even they started fighting about the living condition. Few of them were coughing, but we don’t know who was sick or not. We were all exposed.

There was no electricity till 4pm, and they fixed it after we screamed at those running the centre.

Despite all this I do appreciate the efforts made by our government to screen each and every person entering our country. However a lot needs to be done to ensure hygiene standards are not being compromised at all. I urge the Health Ministry to at least provide clean hygienic facilities. Unhealthy living conditions inside quarantine centres like the one I was in, are putting us at further risk of contracting other infections. 

The most difficult part of the night was not being able to use the washroom. I felt tortured, like a prisoner. When I demanded that we should at least be given water to drink, they asked us to drink directly from toilet taps which had no water in them

Sign my petition to urge the government to immediately improve the hygiene conditions of the quarantine centres across the country. 

I don’t want others to go through what I have gone through. #ImproveCoronaQuarantineCentres