On Tuesday, a state government official said that migrant workers returning to Bihar will not have to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine. As the movement of people has reopened, not putting migrants under quarantine will lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases.
On Monday, the official of the Disaster Management department announced the closing of the registration of migrants for quarantine.
“We have stopped the registration of migrants from Monday for putting them in 14-day institutional quarantine…Why will anyone (migrant) be registered and for what when restrictions on the movement of people have been lifted in the country. How do you know who is migrant because now anyone can come either by train, bus, car or any other mode?” Disaster Management Departments Principal Secretary Pratyaya Amrit told PTI.
He further said that when there was no movement of people, quarantine was there, and now, when there is movement there is no quarantine.
No Quarantines In Bihar, But Door To Door Monitoring
Previously while moving in lockdown, a mandatory pass was required. But, after recent relaxations made in lockdown, the pass is no more required. However, Amrit said that the Government will continue door to door monitoring.
“Why quarantine centres will remain open when there will be no one at these centres after the arrival of the last batch which was supposed to reach Bihar by June 1? “We had written a letter to the official concerned to send the special (Shramik) train by June 1. If we take that into account, the quarantine period will come to an end on June 15,” he said.
He added that schools would also have to be vacated for starting academic activities.
So far, 28 to 29 lakh migrants have reached Bihar in its biggest-ever evacuation exercise, he claimed.
The state governments decision comes at a time when many migrants returning to Bihar have tested positive for Covid-19, leading to a massive surge in the number of cases.
The data released by state Health Department says the number of migrants who have tested positive since May is 2,743. Bihar had reported 3,872 cases and 23 deaths till Monday evening.