As the Union Home Ministry issued revised guidelines giving numerous relaxations for Lockdown 4.0, Haryana’s Home Minister Anil Vij said that only those testing “negative for the coronavirus” will be allowed to enter Haryana. The state will insist on a recent negative test report before allowing entry or will perform tests at borders using rapid testing kits. While guidelines for the procedure are being framed, teams for rapid testing and thermal screening are already deployed at all state borders. Haryana is also firming up special guidelines for those living in the state but working in Delhi.
Vij said: “It will be mandatory for anybody entering Haryana to first go through a coronavirus test. A person will only be allowed to enter Haryana, if he/she tests negative for the coronavirus.”
After a surge of Covid-19 cases in Haryana’s four districts of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Jhajjar and Sonipat bordering national capital Delhi, Haryana had sealed its four districts borders with Delhi.
“In Haryana, more than 70 per cent of the Covid-19 cases are from four districts adjoining Delhi. It would be compulsory for any person entering Haryana from Delhi to have a negative report,” Vij said.
He added, “Even for e-passes, the applicants will have to produce their negative report of coronavirus test.”
Anil Vij further elaborated, “The Delhi High Court has ordered that only those people who test positive for coronavirus should be quarantined. But, how will we get to know that who is positive and who is negative. For that, people need to get their tests done. Then only we can allow a person to enter Haryana. If a person is positive, then why shall we take him in.”
For those with their workplaces in Delhi, he added: “For employees and people who work in Delhi and stay in Haryana, certain guidelines are being formulated and should be ready by tomorrow. The employers should certify that who all are their employees who work in Delhi and live in Haryana.”
According to Sunday evening Covid bulletin of Haryana government, the total count of Covid patients has touched 910, while 14 have died. The maximum of six patients have died in Faridabad, followed by three in Panipat, two in Ambala and one each in Sonipat, Karnal and Rohtak.
Meanwhile, 48 Covid patients recovered and were discharged from Haryana’s hospitals in the last 24 hours taking the state’s recovery rate to 61.75 per cent. There are 334 active patients admitted in various hospitals. Of these, 259 active patients are in four Delhi bordering districts including Gurgaon that leads with 100 active patients, followed by 64 in Faridabad, 58 in Sonipat and 37 in Jhajjar district.
A large number of people travel from these four districts to Delhi and back, for their work and business. Haryana government had analysed that majority of the cases in these four districts have links with Delhi. “Majority of the people who tested positive in these four districts had either contacted the virus directly from Delhi or their contacts who work in Delhi. Thus we need to exercise extreme restraint and monitor the situation closely,” a senior officer said.
Talking about the Lockdown 4.0 relaxations, Vij said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought suggestions from the Chief Ministers of all states through video conferencing to extend the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown for which Haryana government indicated that commercial activities may be resumed in the areas excluding containment zones across the state”.
He added, “In this hour of crisis we have to save lives and focus on expanding business. Hence, there is a need to formulate strict laws along with relaxation in lockdown. Just as wearing of helmets is mandatory in the same manner law should be made for wearing facemasks compulsory”.
Hinting at the relaxations will be given in the state exercising “utter caution”, Vij added, “The world is in crisis and we have to think before taking any step.”
Haryana will also be following the fresh guidelines issued by the MHA, which have to be implemented May 18 onward. However, as per the guidelines, state will now be divided in five zones including green, orange, red, containment and buffer zones. The relaxations will not be applicable to “containment zones”.
More sops for migrant labourers
In an attempt to curb the exodus of migrant labourers from the state, CM Manohar Lal Khattar has announced a separate government department — Housing for all – in Haryana. Besides this, the state government has also planned to start a Rental Housing scheme. “Mega economic package announced by the central government at the time of the global pandemic will definitely benefit the MSMEs in Haryana and would further strengthen Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Make in India’,” Khattar said.
To help those workers who have lost their jobs due to lockdown, Khattar said, “Many industries were shut down due to which many workers have lost their jobs. Therefore, keeping in view the interest of all such workers, a separate plan is being formulated to utilize these workers by imparting special skill trainings to them so that they can diversify their profession”.
Over 1.6 lakh migrant workers sent back
More than 1,60,300 have so far been sent on Special Shramik Trains and buses to their home states, till date. “On May 16, migrant workers were sent to Uttar Pradesh and other states through three trains and 492 buses. Till date, migrant workers have been sent in 3,100 buses out of which 781 buses have been sent to Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, while a total of 40 Special Shramik Trains have been sent to Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, including 28 trains to Bihar and 12 trains to Madhya Pradesh”, a government spokesperson said.
“So far, 75,600 migrant workers have been sent from the state to Uttar Pradesh, while 37,866 have been sent to Bihar and 14,940 to Uttarakhand, while 19,982 have been sent to Madhya Pradesh… About 11,000 natives of Haryana have been brought back from other states and the process is still on,” the spokesperson added.