A motorcycle mechanic in Gurgaon for the last seven years, Sabir is among around 2,000 migrant workers who returned last month to Maheshpur after industries and shops shut down because of the lockdown.
A video clip showing a woman lying motionless on the ground at the Muzaffarpur railway station in Bihar, her son playing with the cloth covering her — unaware that his mother had died became an emblem for the trauma faced by lakhs of migrant workers returning home to escape the lockdown distress.
People coming from places other than Surat, Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Noida and Bengaluru will be sent for home quarantine, provided they do not have symptoms and monitored.
The Indian Express found in the district that in the precious time the lockdown gave, the local administration cobbled up a basic first line of defence: a swab collection centre, a 100-bed Level-II dedicated facility for moderate cases with pneumonia symptoms, and a Level-I care centre of 200 single rooms in two buildings of a training institute.
Trends of the last three weeks have suggested the highest risk among migrants coming from Delhi, followed by Ahmedabad, Surat and Pune. Of 1,872 cases reported till Thursday noon, about 1,000 were from high-risk towns.
Dhiraj Kumar Mishra has taught at coaching institutes in Kota and Bengaluru. "I had started teaching in Patna, but was not getting a good salary. I left for Kota and started getting paid well. But Covid-19 has changed all calculations."
“From now on, 100 specials trains will run daily to bring back migrants to Bihar. After an agreement between Bihar and the Central government, altogether 800 trains will operate to bring back over 20 lakh migrants,” Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi tweeted.
Pramod Rai, Kamlesh Sahu, Ravi Maurya, Dinesh Kharadi, Ajay Manjhi, Gajraj Yadav, and Abdul Azim are the “luckier” ones, having made their way back to their villages after long journeys. As they rework their budgets and life, what keeps them going is the whiff of their dreams
The high positivity rate among migrant workers is raising concerns in Bihar which is a primary destination state for migrant labour. And when the testing of migrants returning through six inter-state borders, through which about 10,000 are entering each day, is yet to begin.
Forty-four migrants from Jharkhand and Bihar are among several others who have been lodged at the quarantine centre in Gopalganj at the double-storey ZA Islamia High School building which can accommodate 100 people.
Delhi government had made an advance payment to the Indian Railways and had written to the Bihar government on Thursday requesting a reimbursement. On Friday, the Delhi government said it was footing the bill for migrant workers headed to states that do not want to pay.