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COVID-19 Karnataka wrap: Migrants gather at Mangaluru railway station; state sees highest single-day spike in new cases

Karnataka saw 48 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, which is the highest single-day spike, raising the state’'s total tally to 753.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Bengaluru | Updated: May 8, 2020 9:55:11 pm
COVID-19 Karnataka wrap: Migrant workers gather at Mangaluru railway station; state sees highest single-day spike in new cases A delegation of leaders of opposition parties and farmers organisations headed by Siddaramaiah meet Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa to discuss COVID-19 and the affect of the lockdown on the working class in Bengaluru, Friday, May 8, 2020. (Twitter/@Siddaramaiah)

Hundreds of migrant workers reached the Central Railway Station in Mangaluru Friday morning following rumours that special trains had been arranged to take them home.

Police and district authorities later convinced the migrants to return, who were sent to different places in buses arranged by the Mangaluru administration.

According to the Mangaluru police, most of the migrant workers who had gathered at the railway station were from Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and other northern states.

Some workers also staged a protest in front of the central railway station demanding trains to return to their hometowns. The Railway Protection Force personnel and the Mangaluru police had to step in to control them. .

Mangaluru city police commissioner P S Harsha visited the spot and convinced the migrants that trains will be arranged for them in a few days.

Migrant workers gather near the Mangaluru Central Railway Station in the hope to travel back to their homes, amid ongoing COVID-19 lockdown in Mangaluru, Friday, May 8, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Three special trains for migrants run from Bengaluru

Three special trains for migrants departed from Bengaluru’s Chikkabanavara Railway Station on Friday after the Karnataka government decided to resume train services for migrant labourers in Bengaluru.

South Western Railways said, ‘Today three Shramik specials are expected to depart from Bengaluru area in Karnataka .1) To Danapur (Bihar) at 4 pm; 2) To Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) at 4 pm; 3) To Lucknow (UP) at 6 pm.”

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Nodal Officer for Migrants in Karnataka, N Manjunath Prasad, said: “We have got consent of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand. On Friday, three trains are running from Bengaluru. Tomorrow five trains will be operated.”

The state government has written to nodal officers of various states seeking their consent to operate trains to their states from May 8 to 15.

On Tuesday, the Karnataka government cancelled all trains arranged to transport migrants to other states. It wrote to the South Western Railway (SWR) withdrawing their request to arrange for train services scheduled for Wednesday.

Following the development, hundreds of migrant workers began walking home from Bengaluru to their states, inviting widespread criticism for the government.

Facing flak, the BS Yeddyurappa-led government Thursday directed to restart train services and announced to run 100-plus trains to nine states.

Earlier on Tuesday, representatives of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) had met CM Yediyurappa after which the CM said, “The COVID-19 situation is in control in Karnataka as compared to other states. Industrial construction and trade activities need to be resumed outside areas marked as red zones. Hence, labourers may avoid unnecessary travel back to their natives.”

The first Shramik Special train left Chikkabanavara for Bhubaneswar in Odisha on Sunday, after which three other trains, two Bihar-bound, and another to Jharkhand, departed from stations on the city outskirts on the same day.

On Monday and Tuesday, four more trains were arranged — for Jaipur (Rajasthan), Danapur (Bihar), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), and Barkakana (Jharkhand) from Chikkabanavara and Malur stations.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) workers spray disinfectants at the Kempegowda Bus Stand, Majestic in Bengaluru, Friday, May 8, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Opposition parties met Yediyurappa over COVID-19 situation

Opposition parties in Karnataka met Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday over the COVID-19 situation in the state.

Opposition party leaders demanded that COVID-19 be declared a national disaster and asked the state government to pressure the Centre to provide a Rs 50,000-crore special economic package to help the people who are distressed due to the lockdown.

A delegation of leaders of opposition parties headed by former chief minister Siddaramaiah met Yediyurappa to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the state. .In a series of tweets after the meeting, Siddaramaiah said, “.@CMofKarnataka should immediately demand the @PMOIndia to declare the pandemic as “National Disaster”. The state government should also demand a special economic package of at least Rs. 50,000 Crore for the state.”

The Karnataka government Wednesday announced an economic relief package of Rs 1,610 crore for farmers, MSMEs, handloom weavers, autorickshaw drivers and others amid COVID-19 lockdown.

After meeting the opposition party leaders, Yediyurappa, in a statement, said the leaders of opposition parties commended the steps taken by the state government to control COVID-19 pandemic in the state and extended full cooperation.

With 48, biggest spike in COVID19 case in a day:

Karnataka saw 48 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, which is the highest single-day spike, raising the state’’s total tally to 753.

Among 48 cases, 14 cases were reported from Davangere, Bhatkal in Dakshina Kannada district reported 12 cases, Hirebagewadi in Belagavi 10 cases, Bengaluru Urban seven cases, Chitradurga three cases, and Ballari and Kudachi in Belagavi district recorded one case each on Friday.

Of the new cases, 24 are men and 24 women, including a five-month-old baby girl.

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