Covid-19 cases in non-migrants on rise in Jharkhand
Experts are worried that this trend in Ranchi could be indicative of community transmission of the disease.Updated: Jun 24, 2020 09:01 IST
The spread of Covid-19 pandemic continues unabated in Jharkhand, which after two spells of spike, one related to Tablighi Jamaat and the other to migrants’ inflow, is now witnessing a steep rise in positive cases among the non-migrant population.
While 70 cases were detected in non-migrants in May, as many as 205 cases have been reported from the section in the first 22 days of June. In comparison to the last month, cases in this section have registered a growth of 192% till June 22.
Experts, however, say the rise of cases in the non-migrant section is quite worrisome as it is indicative of community transmission of the disease.
Director of the state’s premier medical college and hospital, Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Dr DK Singh said, “In Unlock-1, interstate movement of people has been allowed. There is also no restriction in movement within the city, town and other areas. Not only migrants are returning to the state but also the people from other sections.”
In the case of migrants, a majority of them were put in institutional quarantine and therefore, they were segregated. But, in other cases, there were no such segregation, so cases from this section are bound to rise, he added.
Singh said, “We are noticing that a majority of ill patients coming to the hospital are testing Covid-19 positive. We need to increase the testing, especially through random sampling, to find out if there is any community spread.”
However, a recent survey of state’s three districts by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) didn’t indicate any possibility of community transmission.
However, the government has urged the council to conduct the survey across the state.
According to the state health department, the state had 110 positive cases by the end of April, when the return of migrants had not started.
These cases were primarily linked to the Tablighi Jammat event in New Delhi.
From May 1 onwards, migrant workers, stranded in different states, started returning home through special flights, trains, buses and other modes of transportation.
Till June 12, over 5.12 lakh migrant workers had arrived from different states in the state.
Those, who had returned from red zone cities like Mumbai, Surat, Delhi and others, were put in institutional quarantine.
The state health machinery then shifted its focus to these quarantine centres from where positive cases started coming in hoards.
In the month of May alone, as many as 500 confirmed cases were unearthed, including 430 cases found in migrants.
Of the total cases found in May, only 14% cases (70) were reported from the non-migrant section.
A steep surge in the number of Covid-19 cases has been noticed in the current month as total positive cases climbed to 2,140 on June 22 from 610 on May 31.
Of the 1,530 cases found in the first 22 days of June, 1,325 were detected among migrants and remaining 205 in non-migrant section, which accounts for over 13% of the total cases found in this month so far.