Odisha preps for return of 6 lakh migrant workers post-lockdown

Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar | ByDebabrata Mohanty
Apr 28, 2020 09:39 PM IST

About 6 lakh migrant workers of Odisha have registered with the state government portal for staying in official quarantine after their return.

The Odisha government said on Tuesday that the safety, dignity and privacy of the six lakh migrant people, set to return after lockdown is lifted on May 3, will be the state’s guiding principle.

Seen here is a quarantine centre near Bhubaneswar. (HT photo)
Seen here is a quarantine centre near Bhubaneswar. (HT photo)

The state government has so far made arrangements for 1.72 lakh beds in 7,120 temporary medical centres in gram panchayats and urban local bodies. With more than double the number likely to turn up after the end of lockdown, the government is worried about maintaining social distancing, one of the most important means to stop the spread of Covid-19.

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About 6 lakh migrant workers of Odisha have registered with the state government portal for staying in official quarantine after their return.

“The officials have been asked to keep in mind three crucial aspects such as privacy, safety and dignity. As far as privacy is concerned, separate rooms, baths and toilets must be arranged for men and women. In case there are people from LGBT community, separate provisions should be made,” the revenue and disaster management department said in a notification.

The government also made it clear that no discrimination of any sort would be practised, promoted or tolerated.

For people who would be housed at the quarantine centres, two bed sheets and as many pillow covers would be procured for each bed.

“Procurement of beds (cots and mattresses, pillows) may be made through hiring and the cost can be charged to SDRF. If these have to be procured, funds under other schemes of the concerned department may be utilised,” the government order said.

An amount of Rs 120 would be spent on food of each adult per day and Rs 100 for each child below 14 years per day during their quarantine period of 14 days. They would get a personal hygiene kit of Rs 300 that would include a toothbrush, paste, tongue cleaner, soaps, oil, razor, masks, sanitary pad, mug, bottle, bucket. The cleaning, sanitation and security cost per centre should not exceed Rs 2,000 per day, said Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Jena.

Meanwhile, chief minister Naveen Patnaik directed senior officials to double the mandays under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme from 5 lakh to 10 lakh daily in next one week.

The chief minister also asked the officials to ensure that none of migrant labourers face any difficulties in getting foodgrains.

Patnaik also asked the officials to take steps to increase the daily testing of Covid-19 at ICMR-approved labs and to test 15,000 samples daily from the 2,500-odd now.

Three more fully automated Cobas 6800 RT-PCR would be installed in the three government medical colleges of Koraput, Bolangir and Balasore in the next two months.

At present, there is only one Cobas 6800 machine at the Regional Medical Research Centre in Bhubaneswar that tests 800 samples.

The Covid-19 testing is being done at Regional Medical Research Centre(Bhubaneswar), SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, AIIMS Bhubaneswar, Institute of Life Sciences in Bhubaneswar, MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur, Ispat General Hospital in Rourkela and VIMSAR in Burla.

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