Nagpur: Rooms at Vanamati and Ravi Bhavan with a capacity of 125 people filled up in a single day after officials quarantined a large number of people traced from the near contact list of Delhi positive patients issued by the state government.
The sudden rise prompted the health department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation, which was tasked with identifying the perpetrators, to begin making new plans as the numbers are likely to grow higher in the next few days.
MLA hostels, where the first Quarantine facility in the city was built on March 13, took about 21 days to fill up its 210 room in Wing II and III. On Wednesday, Nagpur NMC health department started planning for quarantine facilities for the old VNIT hostels at Bajaj Nagar.
VNIT officials said the authorities had been shown 200 to 300 old hostel rooms but they had yet to obtain any official acquisition document. The campus too had been shut down 10 days before the declaration of the national lockdown. Students at VNIT were told to leave by 16 March. Several institutions have vacant hostels, like the University of Nagpur, too. VNIT has the capacity to accommodate over 4000 people including the new hostels.
SDO Shekhar Ghadge said Vanamati facility began on Wednesday but on Thursday it was complete. “Thursday, 35 people were brought to Ravi Bhavan. Vanamati can seat up to 84 people. Two are sharing a room at both places, “he said.
Ghadge said the administration was looking into options and was thus inspecting the VNIT campus. “We don’t need to buy any real estate. Before we turn a place into a quarantine centre we weigh many factors. The divisional commissioner and the district collector must eventually determine, “he said.
As the number of suspected cases unexpectedly increased, he said NMC had been tasked with finding and taking them here. On Thursday the MLA hostels, where about 30 rooms were vacant a day earlier, were packed.
Ghadge said many people will soon complete their 14-day quarantine at the MLA hostel so vacant rooms would be available.
Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Kumar claimed the spike in a number of suspects was mainly due to the repercussions from the Delhi list and the congregation Nizamuddin Tablighi.
There were also questions at Vanamati and Ravi Bhavan concerning the housekeeping and catering services. Sources said the workers were afraid to attend to the alleged COVID-19 incidents.
Initially, the operator of MLA hostels too had faced the same problem but somehow managed to maintain 80 staff who are now deployed there in two shifts.