Amid the influx of a large number of migrant workers, returning to their homes in Uttar Pradesh after Mumbai was put under lockdown, the UP government has the onerous task of identifying each of the migrant workers and keeping them quarantined in their homes for the next two weeks.
Over 25,000 people are said to have arrived from Maharashtra on at least 80 trains in the last few days. With Maharashtra reporting the maximum number of COVID-19 cases — 97 till Monday — the UP government had set up booths at railway stations across the state to identify the returning migrant workers while they underwent thermal screening. Sources in the government said that they have identified most of them and have now alerted gram pradhans, ASHA workers, ANMs (auxiliary nurse midwife) and local primary health centres to identify those who have returned and ask them to self isolate themselves for the next 14 days.
One of the most affected from the sudden migration has been Varanasi division — four districts of Jaunpur, Ghazipur, Chandauli and Varanasi — where alone about 10,000 people have arrived in the last few days.
“While we have conducted checks at railway stations, for those who have arrived through other means of transport, we have directed all the gram pradhans in rural areas and ward members in the urban areas to identify all those people who have travelled history. They have been told to prepare data of such people with their village names and contact details. All of them will be closely monitored through local health centres in the coming days,” Varanasi Divisional Commissioner Deepak Agarwal told The Indian Express.
According to the Divisional Commissioner, they were able to catch hold of two persons, who were stamped for quarantine in Mumbai and were trying to flee to Kanpur. “On Sunday, two persons were able to reach Varanasi. They were stamped to stay in quarantine in Mumbai. From Varanasi, they were trying to board a train to Kanpur but were stopped. They have been put in an isolation ward in the city,” said Agarwal.
With many of those arriving in Varanasi headed to neighbouring Azamgarh, the district administration has been informed to keep a tab on such returning migrant workers. “While none of the trains arrived on Monday, 1,050 people have arrived through trains in Azamgarh and 289 in Mau district. All of them were thermally checked and seven of them were found to be symptomatic of coronavirus. They have been kept in isolation. We have taken details of all these individuals, including their villages and contacts, and have put the local health centres on alert,” Kanak Tripathi, Commissioner (Azamgarh), said.
“We have alerted all the gram pradhans to identify people who have come from other states or abroad. They inform the control room and the local CHC and PHC and a team of doctors visit them for a check-up and ask them to self-isolate. Instructions have been given to keep monitoring these people for any symptoms,” Tripathi added.
According to Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Avaneesh Awasthi about 2,000-3,000 people have arrived in each of the districts in Varanasi, Prayagraj, Gorakhpur and Lucknow divisions. “Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is regularly reviewing the situation and about 90 trains have come to different parts of the state in the last few days… The good part is that we have been able to do mapping of these people and have sent a list to the villages where they have returned. All of them have been scanned,” Awasthi added.
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