Hailakandi- With an aim to effectively deal with the emergent situation arising out of novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Hailakandi district administration has deployed sector officers with magisterial powers.
Deputy Commissioner, Megh Nidhi Dahal disclosed that nine non ACS Officers have been conferred magisterial powers by the Department of Personnel (A), Government of Assam following a proposal moved by the district administration to ensure effective surveillance of hordes of incoming people sent for home quarantine.
A quarantine and surveillance monitoring cell has been constituted headed by District Development Commissioner, Vikram Dev Sharma and Additional Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Khaleda S. Ahmed to monitor such people returning by droves from outside the state to the district by train, flight and other modes of transport.
The sector officers have been entrusted with the task of monitoring the people put under home quarantine in the specific gaon panchayats and report to the cell incharge on a daily basis.
“The sector officers work begins the moment persons under facility quarantine are released for home quarantine. They make extensive tours and ensure that people advised to remain in home quarantine follow strictly the quarantine norms and other COVID-19 protocols,” said Dahal, adding that the sector officers are not meant to respond in medical emergencies and that their prime responsibility is to enforce home quarantined norms.
The Deputy Commissioner pointed out that the sector officers make an assessment through the village and ward level home quarantine management committee as to whether the persons to be sent to home quarantine have the required facilities to maintain physical distancing and other quarantine norms, including separate toilets, at home. “Only after verifying that necessary facilities do exist at home, the persons are sent to home quarantine,” added Dahal.
Dahal said the sector officers also monitor the functioning of village and ward level home quarantine management committee and provide necessary assistance as and when required.
The sector officers are working in tandem with the local police in their field of activity.
While performing their duties, the sector officers are being asked to follow all COVID-19 protocols for their own safety and that of others and to report continuously to the control room for all the happenings at ground zero to keep real time flow of information.
The Deputy Commissioner informed that the sector officers have all downloaded the Arogya Setu on their handsets and encouraged the home quarantined people to do so keeping it active at all times.
Creating enabling systems to drive home message to home quarantined persons to observe physical distancing and other safety norms through interactive voice response (IVR), assuming accountability and protocol adherence as well as daily follow-ups with his core team to iron out irritants seem to be the major driving force behind the district administration headed by Dahal, who himself is a software engineer.