Protesting farmers to be tested, vaccinated against Covid-19: Haryana minister
Haryana health minister Anil Vij on Tuesday expressed concern for farmers, who have been protesting against the Centre’s agricultural laws at Delhi’s borders, and said they will be tested for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and vaccinated against it. “It is my duty to worry about everyone in Haryana. Farmers are protesting here in large numbers. We have decided to vaccinate them and get them tested for Covid-19,” Anil Vij told news agency ANI.
Follow latest updates on Covid-19 here
The minister’s remark is in line with a senior health department official’s statement on Monday that they are ramping sampling and vaccination at the Singhu and Tikri borders where a large number of farmers have assembled. “Also, we are going to conduct RT-PCR tests on those returning from Kumbh at three locations – Kala Amb, Yamunanagar and Karnal near the UP borders,” Rajeev Arora, the additional chief secretary (health), said.
Haryana has been witnessing a surge of nearly 6000 to 7000 Covid-19 cases daily for the past few days. Anil Vij said earlier that Haryana’s over 42,000 active cases currently are from Gurugram, Faridabad and Sonipat, the districts adjoining Delhi. “We need more doctors at this juncture as many of them will be visiting COVID patients, who are being treated in home isolation,” he told news agency PTI.
Meanwhile, the farmers at the Singhu, Tikri and Ghaziabad borders said they fear that the Delhi government, which has imposed a six-day lockdown, would use Covid-19 as a “pretext” to clear the protest sites. To preempt any such attempt, the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan) and Samyukta Kisan Morcha have called upon their members to reach the Tikri border from April 21 to intensify the agitation.
Thousands of farmers have been camping at the borders of the national capital to mark their agitation against three farm laws enacted by the government in September last year. Multiple rounds of talks between farm union leaders and the central government leaders have failed to end the impasse.