The case of 11 migrants testing positive in a Vehra (common settlement) in Ludhiana’s New Janta Nagar has the industry and the administration worried. The Vehras house migrant workers and most in this locality work in nearby factories.
Out of 11 positive patients here, six are males and three minors. “Males used to sell vegetables on rehris in the nearby colonies and one of them was a tea vendor,” said Jaswinder Thukral area councillor. However, the Vehra was also shared by people working at factories.
“This vehra is of a paint and hardware businessman and these migrants (from UP and Bihar) had not gone back to their home states as most of them are vegetable vendors. I have asked the authorities to get a survey done to find out as to which lanes, these positive patients used to sell vegetables and hence contact tracing can be done.” said Simarjeet Singh Bains, area MLA.
So far, over 400 positive patients have been reported from Ludhiana, which has three containment zones — Chhawni Mohalla, Prem Nagar and Islamganj — all congested and desnely populated areas.
Thukral said, “It is a matter of grave concern that positive cases are coming from Vehras. Already the industry is going slow due to the after effects of lockdown.”
Charanjeet Singh Vishwkarma, owner of Vishwkarma Industry in Janta Nagar said,”I also have a unit in a mixed land use area, we are having labour shortage, but somehow we are managing it. I just pray that it is controlled within the containment areas. Everyone needs to share their responsibilities.”
Dr Rajesh Bagga, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, said,’’We have started a survey in the area and will be doing sampling in the area as well after tracing contacts of all 11 persons in the area as vegetable vendors must have a wide contact history. Apart from this, so far 3 migrants who have recently come from Bihar for paddy transplantation work have also been tested positive. There are positive patients from Giaspura, Sherpur and Tibba area areas as well where factory workers live, but so far direct contact of any factory worker has not been traced.”
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