Of the 40,414 migrant labourers working in the diamond, textile and GIDC industries who returned to Surat after the Covid-19 lockdown, 835 people tested positive, Principal Secretary, Health, Jayanti Ravi told the Gujarat High Court on Thursday in an affidavit.
She also submitted that a special call centre has been set up for follow-up of returnee labourers. According to Ravi’s affidavit, details of passengers deboarding at Surat railway station is taken out daily and then verified via the call centre setup.
The list is forwarded to field officers who test them. As per the health department, 19,000 passengers have arrived at Surat station, of whom 6,714 were detected to be returnee labourers. Sixteen among them have tested positive. Ravi also submitted that 2,401 symptomatic passengers at central and Adajan bus depots were also tested, of whom 41 tested positive. Interception of vehicles and random testing is also being conducted at five other entry points to Surat, wherein 85 have tested positive among 6,480 who were tested.
The submissions came following an order by the HC last month wherein a division bench had sought details on measures being taken in Surat to control the outbreak. The bench, in its order of August 17, had also directed that all status reports on the Covid-19 situation are to be filed by the principal health secretary and as an affidavit, on oath henceforth.
Following the court directive, the Gujarat government, in an office order dated August 26, formed a team of IAS officers to take stock of all the civil hospitals across the state. They are and were to submit a report by Friday.
The court is due to hear a bunch of public interest litigations on Covid-19 related issues on Friday. Ravi sought time of two more weeks to file the report instead of Friday, owing to paucity of time. Ravi is camping in Rajkot, from where an increasing number of cases are being reported.