At several centres, people complained that they were getting poor quality food and the facilities being provided are inadequate.
The behaviour of the field staff posted in quarantine centres was also brought into question with people complaining that the staff was being rude when their assistance was being sought. Complaints poured in about the poor quality of food.
In one instance, people at Adavitakkellapadu centre on the outskirts of Guntur city had to throw away the food supplied to them in the dustbin claiming that it was inedible. “It’s better to die hungry than eat the food being supplied here at the quarantine centre,” said one of the woman putting up there.
Those living in quarantine centres alleged that with no senior official visiting, the field staff is not taking complaints seriously. “They are cursing at us and claiming that the food provided is sufficient. We feel as if life in prison is better than at this quarantine centre,” said another man staying at a quarantine centre.
He added that the worst sufferers are children as they aren’t being provided milk. Despite knowing that there are many children housed at these centres officials aren’t providing milk, he said.
Sources said that some private milk vendors are visiting quarantine centres and selling milk at exorbitant prices. But many people in quarantine centres don’t have a lot of cash in-hand. Few are shelling out large sums to feed milk to their children.
A youth from Varavakatta area in Narasaraopet said that they have been left locked in the quarantine centres like dogs in a municipal van. “The RDO appreciated us when we ourselves approached them and asked to be placed in quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus. But they left us at Mittapalli Engineering College without food, water or milk for children,” he said in a video shared with the media.
Volunteers of Red Cross are going around quarantine facilities and are taking milk, medicines, bread and biscuits of the people lodging at these centres.
District collector I Samuel Anand Kumar and joint collector Dinesh Kumar did not respond to repeated attempts made to contact them by TOI.
Sajjala Ramakrishna Reddy, state government advisor (public affairs) said that he has instructed officials to set things right in quarantine facilities in Guntur immediately. “Chief minister Jagan is very particular about providing quality food and good sanitation conditions in quarantine centres. Instructions have been issued to district collectors on the issue,” Sajjala said.