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Coronavirus pandemic | Fresh reports of burns from quarantine stamp despite Goa govt assuring safer ink

A woman returning to Goa from Mumbai had complained of burning sensation after she was stamped at the Patradevi check post, but the officials posted there had played down her concerns and asked her to apply sanitiser to subside the pain.

May 27, 2020 / 08:12 PM IST

Days after Goa government officials claimed that the quarantine stamp ink that was being used by authorities at the Patradevi check post in Goa has been changed, fresh reports of skin burn from the chemical has surfaced.

Raybelle Louella Dias, a 26-year-old HR professional, who had returned to her native Goa on May 21 by road from Mumbai, has also complained of skin burns and severe allergic reactions from the ink that was used.

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Around 7.30 pm on May 21, she was stamped twice – one to declare the date and time and the other sending her to the quarantine centre. The woman’s skin started burning and she complained to the police personnel stationed at the kiosk at Patradevi check post immediately.

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“One policeman asked me to apply sanitiser on it and the health officials sitting at the stamp desk said the stinging sensation will subside in some time,” Dias told Moneycontrol.

However, when she reached Calangute Residency – the quarantine centre where she was lodged for 24 hours till her coronavirus test results arrived -- the pain grew sharper and the skin started blistering.

The ink used for the quarantine stamp has burnt Raybelle's skin The ink used for the quarantine stamp at the Patradevi check post in Goa has burnt Raybelle's skin

By May 22, puss and boils had started forming on the burnt area on the back of her hand. Fearing an infection, Dias visited the doctor in-charge of her quarantine centre, who prescribed some tablets.

Later, when two officials from the Candolim Health Centre arrived at her residence on May 26 to put the home quarantine label on her door, she informed them about her predicament. To which they advised her to “apply Lacto Calamine”, the HR professional claimed.

She further informed: “When I enquired about the person concerned to whom I can officially complain about this, they (the health officials) did not respond. They only told me that such complaints are very common; several other persons have got burns and blisters from the quarantine stamp ink.”

Upon being questioned as to how the stamp ink is reacting on the skin despite the state government claiming it has been changed, one of the health officials visiting Dias said: “I am surprised too. Usually, basic rubber stamp ink is used. I do not know much about the quality of ink being used at the check post; maybe they are using some other kind of ink.”

The health official further said: “Last month also several complaints about the ink burning people’s skin had surfaced. I doubt if they have changed their ink since. We keep receiving complaints even now, but I am not sure if the information has been relayed to the officials manning the Patradevi check post.

Notably, the incident comes two weeks after an Indian Express report dated May 7 had quoted government officials as confirming that the health officials have changed the ink that gave allergic reactions to those stamped on the Goa border.

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Jagyaseni Biswas
first published: May 27, 2020 05:21 pm

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