AAPSU leaders speak to reporters in Itanagar. (File image)

The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has called upon the state government make it mandatory for all those from the Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) and Border Road Task Force (BRTF) to undergo Covid-19 testing before they enter the state.

The Union has also demanded that the government make immediate changes in the revised standard operating procedure (SOP) for the CPMFs and BRTF personnel that were issued on May 19 and include “mandatory testing” in it.

The appeal from the AAPSU comes a day after reports of 15 NDRF and one GREF personnel testing positive for the virus in the Capital Complex region surfaced in local dailies.

The capital complex consists of Itanagar, the state capital, Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Banderdewa.

Under the revised SOP issued by the health department for CPMFs and BRTF issued on May 19, “testing facility of the state government shall be used only for testing those who develop symptoms of Covid-19 during the period of 14-day quarantine.”

The order also says that paramilitary establishments shall execute their own SOP for prevention of Covid-19 with 14 days mandatory quarantine in their own facilities.

“Mandatory testing for all returnees, even if they are asymptomatic should be undertaken. We demand the state government to immediately make changes in the revised SOP for CPMFs and BRTF that was issued on May 19, 2020 and include mandatory testing in it,” the AAPSU said in a statement on Monday.

It said that the SOPs should also be communicated to all the district administrations of the state as almost every district of Arunachal has the presence of CPMFs and BRTF personnel.

The AAPSU also urged those CPMFs and BRTF personnel who have returned to the state to voluntarily come forward for testing and also render their support and cooperation to the officials of the state health department.

“The state government should take due cognizance of the concerns raised by the AAPSU as any lack of diligence may prove to be futile in the efforts to make Arunachal Pradesh a Covid-free state,” the union said.

The AASPU has further asked the government to ascertain whether the ones returning to Arunachal from the Chakma community are those from the designated camps of the state or from somewhere else.

AAPSU said the organisation has been receiving numerous reports from Changlang district regarding the large number of returnees from Chakma Refugee community.

“Despite many of such returnees have tested positive, many still continue to return till this day. We urge the state government to duly ascertain as to whether those returnees from the refugee community are from designated camps in the state or elsewhere,” the Union said.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com