Coronavirus (COVID-19): Even as one of the students brought back from Kota tested negative for coronavirus in Ghazipur, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot said that the Union government has agreed to allow states to make arrangements for students from Kota to travel back to their home states.
The CM also said that after UP and Uttarakhand, now Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, West Bengal and Assam have agreed to take students back.
The student who tested negative on Monday is among those who were brought back to Uttar Pradesh from Kota. On Sunday, she was found to have high viral load in her rapid test at Ghazipur, her native place, and kept in institutional quarantine along with 27 others including students, policemen and the driver who travelled in the same bus. Now, after her negative report, all of them are being sent for mandatory 14-day home quarantine.
“In the rapid test, a girl was found to have high viral load. Her throat and nasal swab was sent for final testing to BHU, Varanasi. The report was confirmed negative Monday,” said District CMO Dr GC Maurya.
SP Om Prakash Singh said that 257 students were brought to the district and all of them tested negative. “Earlier, the 28 who were on that bus were kept in institutional quarantine. Now, as the report is negative, they will be sent to home quarantine,” said the SP.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi told the media that 10,500 children were brought from Kota in 250 buses in three days. “They were screened at Agra and Jhansi, and ADM-led teams again examined the students after they reached their respective districts,” he said.
UP buses also transported 411 students belonging to Uttarakhand to Haldwani and Rishikesh on Monday. The Uttarakhand government will pay UP for ferrying its students.
Uttarakhand Transport Commissioner Shailesh Bagauli told The Indian Express that medical examination of all students was done after their arrival, and they will be quarantined at home.
Addressing journalists via video-conference from Jaipur, Gehlot said that Rajasthan Chief Secretary D B Gupta had spoken to Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and managed “to convince the Union government to agree that they (students) should be allowed (to travel back home) even though inter-state movement is suspended due to lockdown.”
He said it was important “since these are young students — between the ages of 16-22/23 — and they were growing quite restless and live on rent.” Earlier, he had said that being stuck in lockdown was making the students stressed.
Gehlot said he spoke to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal, and one of his ministers informed they have sent a team to take the students back “and it will reach tonight (Monday)”. Arrangements are also being made to transport 4,000 intra-state students from Kota.
Kota’s Additional District Magistrate, Administration, Narendra Gupta, said that 12,500 students have been ferried to their home towns across UP and Uttarakhand by 400 buses. He said that buses from MP are expected to start arriving Tuesday to ferry 3,000 students. —With inputs from ENS Lucknow, Dehradun