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Not so indelible: Quarantine stamps fading away puts officials in fix

A health department official said, “We have been told to keep a close watch on people in home quarantine and check if the stamp on their hand is intact.

Published: 12th June 2020 02:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th June 2020 02:44 AM   |  A+A-

In some cases, the ink washes of because of household chores, while some times, the mark doesn’t go even after the quarantine period is over.

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  A stamp on the hand is the only way to identify someone who is in home quarantine, but what happens when the ink washes off ? Officials from the health department and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) are worried after a rise in cases of people under quarantine roaming around the city without stamps.

A health department official said, “We have been told to keep a close watch on people in home quarantine and check if the stamp on their hand is intact. However, it has been seen that in some cases, stamps have been wiped off and the people are not staying indoors. Such individuals are traced and brought back indoors after a strict warning.” Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Commissioner, Health and Family Welfare Department, told The New Indian Express, “We are taking a look at such cases and all measures are being taken to ensure no one violates norms.

This is a matter of great concern.” The government has asked Mysore Paints and Varnish and Kores to supply the ink. While it is confident about the ink supplied by the government firm, which also supplies indelible ink for elections, they are worried about the quality of ink supplied by other companies. Mysore Paints has supplied 10,000 bottles of ink to the Karnataka government so far. “There is no time for quality checks. How long the ink stays on the hand could be based on skin type too.

Whenever health officials go on rounds, they restamp those in quarantine,” Dr G Srinivas, District Health Officer, said. In some cases, the ink washes of because of household chores, while some times, the mark doesn’t go even after the quarantine period is over. Officials have also noticed that some people in quarantine are wiping off the stamp using enamel remover, high ethanolbased sanitisers, and even scraping it off. The same tricks are used during elections, say officials. To keep a close watch on rule-breakers, the state government has urged citizens to be their eyes, and not allow those with stamps to enter commercial establishments.



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