The Quarantine stickers are meant for the places that house the people kept in isolation due to the suspicious coronavirus exposure. But this is not going smooth with many people due to the fear of stigmatisation. Many Goans are opposing to the sticking of such stickers on their residential walls and doors. The health department workers fearful of getting thrashed by the people.
Although there is a provision of pasting the stickers of Quarantine on the doors of the suspected people but this is not something that is happening with ease in the state. According to the reports, the health department officials have encountered an unexpected roadblock while implementing the health department’s initiative of putting the stickers outside the houses of people who have been quarantined.
According to them fear of stigmatisation is making people to oppose the sticking of stickers on their house. After all no one wants to get recognised being suspect of coronavirus due to the stigma created in the society.
While talking to TOI, One health officer revealed that most of the people in his jurisdiction have already completed 14-day quarantine period but he is still worried. According to him, People are bound to object. “I don’t know how we will proceed, but since it’s a government order, we will have to do it,” he said.
The situation is same across the state. Another primary health centre revealed that its health workers fear being attacked. “There is bound to be resistance, as putting stickers leads to stigmatisation,” he said. “I had to call the police after two suspects objected when we went to their house to put stickers. They questioned us and argued with our staff. We had received complaints from their neighbours that they had been defying home quarantine norms.”
According to the health officer, the stickers were pasted outside the houses of the two suspects, as well as two others who had attended Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi, the official said.
The situation is not similar everywhere in Goa and there are places where people are very much cooperating with the guidelines laid down by the health department. According to another health officer from the North Goa coastal belt, his centre isn’t required to put stickers as most people have completed their quarantine period. “There were a few who are half-way through their quarantine period, and they have been very cooperative,” he said.
Meanwhile, a health official heading a primary health centre with jurisdiction over slum areas said that he is tackling the problem by taking the help of society heads or people of the ward. “If you explain and convince them, it works,” he said. “People in the society or ward help those in quarantine get whatever they need. This way, they are not compelled to go out. This approach has worked in my jurisdiction.”
A similar procedure has been adopted by a health official in North Goa who, until a week ago, was tracking over 300 people in his jurisdiction. “A lot depends on how we approach people and explain to them why we are doing what we are doing,” he said. “When we go with stickers, they are scared and worried. I assure them that no harm will come to them. We have a few houses to put stickers on. I have told suspects to remove stickers after completion of their quarantine period in case health workers fail to do it in time.”