TODAY -

30-day free shelter home / detoxification camp commences at Ishikha
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 07 2020: With an aim to mitigate and minimise the spread of coronavirus among the public in general and the drug users community in particular, the second phase of the 30-day long shelter home / detoxification camp commenced at Punshi Rehabilitation Centre, Ishikha, Yumnam Khunnou Part II, Imphal East on Sunday under the aegis of Community Response on COVID (CROC-) Manipur with support from Coalition Plus.

In a statement, convenor of Community Response on COVID (CROC) Manipur, Nalinikanta Rajkumar said that the first phase of the free shelter home / detoxification camp which was held amidst the coronavirus outbreak primarily targeting homeless/street-based drug users ended on May 10 .

The inaugural function of the 30-day long shelter home / detoxification camp targeting 50 current drug users was attended by Manipur State Human Rights Commission (MHRC) Acting Chairperson Khaidem Mani, Khundrakpam MLA Th Lokeshwar and Social Welfare Director Ngangom Uttam as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.

Delivering the keynote address of the function, CROC-Manipur, convenor RK Nalinikanta informed that the first phase of the shelter home / detoxification camp was held taking into consideration that if the coronavirus outbreak in the state hits the drug users community, the possibility of community transmission is quite high.

The camp concluded following the declaration of the Government that the State has been categorised as a green zone.

However, with the recent spike of coronavirus cases in the State, the second phase of the free shelter home / detoxification camp was initiated, he added.

The lockdown which is to help maintain social distancing to prevent COVID-19 is not feasible among drug users community as social distancing is difficult for them because their priority is substance and not the virus.

Considering the need for contributing towards making the Government lockdown effort effective, CROC-Manipur has decided to organise the second phase shelter home / detoxification camp, he added.

While maintaining that the Government's initiative to contain COVID-19 in the State can be fruitful only when the same priority that the State Government is giving to returnees is being given to the drug users communit, as far as coronavirus is concerned, Nalinikanta appealed to the authority concerned to take up similar initiatives for the drug users community.

He also appealed to the Government to replicate the initiative of opening free shelter home / detoxification camps taken up by CROC-Manipur in due course of time to contain the pandemic.

The camp will entertain altogether 25 clients each at Punshi Rehabilitation Centre, Ishikha and Ipa Ibungo Midway Home at Loitang Khunou.

While speaking as a guest of honour, Social Welfare Director Ng Uttam said that it has been reported that there are drug users among the stranded people who have been transported into the State and kept at community quarantine centres.

However, since, the drug users began to develop withdrawal symptoms in the centre due to unavailability of drugs and it was later realised that they cannot be kept in the same centre along with non-users, the need for a separate quarantine centre came up, he said and added that the matter was timely highlighted by CROC-Manipur and finally a separate centre for the drug user community was set up at HIT, Mantripukhri similar to the one set up for the transgender community.

While appealing to the drug users staying at the camp to come out clean and contribute to the welfare of the society, Uttam also urged all injecting drug users to maintain social distancing compulsorily during this time of the coronavirus outbreak.

MLA Th Lokeshwar also handed over 5 bags of rice and 1 bag of dal to be used by the inmates during the camp.

Altogether 20 drug users have enrolled as of now at the camp.


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