Hit By Flood, COVID, Assam Adds Social Distancing Rules To Disaster Relief Manual

The new flood manual seeks to identify relief camps in addition to the existing ones to ensure adequate space for social distancing.

Hit By Flood, COVID, Assam Adds Social Distancing Rules To Disaster Relief Manual

Masks have been made mandatory for all staying at the flood relief camps in Assam

Guwahati:

Assam, which has been hit by the first wave of floods and a continued spike in coronavirus cases, has rolled-out a flood relief and rescue operation manual while also ensuring strict adherence to rules put in place to curb spread of the contagion.

The new flood manual by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) seeks to earmark relief camps and accommodation capacity in advance and identify relief camps in addition to the existing ones to ensure adequate space for social distancing. The new manual also assigns 7 square metre area per person to maintain a distance of at least one metre between two people.

Those evacuated and brought to the relief camps will be screened for any health condition, the new manual says, a copy of which is available with NDTV.

The district authorities will have to ensure sufficient toilet facilities keeping in mind the capacity of each camps, it said. Soaps, sanitisers and masks will also have to be provided to those seeking shelter in the camps, it added. The new manual strictly marks the relief camp premises as no-spitting, no tobacco zones. Queue management will have to be strictly followed to ensure social distancing while distributing food at the camps.

The health department will have to monitor everyone staying at the camp daily, instead of conducting weekly check-ups. The medical team on duty should be equipped with basic PPE kits and camps should have an ambulance service, the new flood manual said.

According to the manual, those suffering from fever, cough and common cold must be provided immediate medical supervision and may be isolated keeping in line with the COVID-19 rules.

The manual also seeks the allocation of separate rooms for elderly, pregnant and lactating women and for children up to 6 years, wherever feasible. There should be separate quarters for those who are evacuated while in home-quarantine. Authorities must ensure all home-quarantine measures are followed and adhered to in the building dedicated for sheltering the already-quarantined people.

Nearly two lakh people from 229 villages of seven districts have been affected by the flood in Assam. Goalpara, where 1.70 lakh people have been impacted, is the worst-hit district in the state.

The state has reported 526 coronavirus cases with 4 deaths so far.