Uttarakhand starts screening 4000 migrant labourers after 1 tests positive for coronavirus
A day after a 24-year-old migrant labourer in a relief camp in Roorkee tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the Uttarakhand government has stepped up screening of about 4000 other such workers across the state.
The migrant labourer, who tested positive for the coronavirus, had come to Rishikesh from Hathras in Uttar Pradesh to work but was caught on March 30 near Roorkee and sent to a relief camp. He along with three others were going back to Hathras by taking a lift from a truck driver.
After he tested positive for the deadly virus on Saturday, 24 other migrant labourers who were staying in the same relief camp, were isolated by the health department. Their samples were also sent for testing to detect possible infection.
Amit Negi, secretary of the state disaster management department who is looking after various government operations to contain the virus spread in state, said there are about 40,000 migrant labourers in Uttarakhand with 4000 of them in government relief camps.
“The 4000 migrant labourers staying in relief camps are being screened by doctors daily to detect any rise in body temperature as a symptom of Covid-19 infection. They are being continuously monitored by the health department to ensure none gets infected,” Negi said.
The senior bureaucrat added that most of the relief camps are in Haridwar, Dehradun, US Nagar, Pithoragarh and Haldwani areas of the state.
“Doctors have been instructed to thoroughly examine migrant labourers in the relief camp. Apart from this, precautionary measures like maintaining social distance at the camps as well as while eating are also being strictly ensured to prevent the spread in the relief camps,” he said.
The Uttarakhand government has said it is taking care of labourers from other states stranded in the state due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We are taking all the necessary care of these migrant labourers here by providing them food and shelter for those who have nowhere to go. We are ensuring that nobody faces any problem regarding food and shelter,” Madan Kaushik, cabinet minister and government spokesperson, said.
Uttarakhand has allowed industrial activities in rural areas and industrial estates of the state from April 21 with prior permission from state government and concerned authorities.
It has, however, asked the industries to resume operations only with the available local labour and not from outside.