(Eds: Upgrades story, edits throughout) Patna, June 2 (PTI) Migrant workers returning to Bihar will not have to undergo the mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine any more, as the movement of people has opened across the country, a state government official said on Tuesday, a move that can lead to further spurt in COVID-19 cases.
The registration of migrants for the purpose of quarantine closed on Monday, the official of the Disaster Management department said.
More than 8.77 lakh people have been discharged from quarantine centres after completing the 14-day quarantine period. Besides, 5.30 lakh migrants are still lodged in block and district level quarantine centres '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 said quarantine facilities were introduced when movement of people was either banned or restricted.
During the lockdown, people had to obtain passes from the competent authorities to undertake travel from one place to another. But with the introduction of unlock 1, such requirement has been done away with, he said.
He, however, asserted that door-to-door health monitoring will continue.
The officer said quarantine centres will be closed after June 15 when the 14-day quarantine period of the last batch of registered migrants will end.
'Why quarantine centres will remain open when there will be no one at these centres after the arrival of 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.
Schools also have to be vacated for starting academic activities, he said.
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.
According to the data released by the state Health department, the number of migrants who have tested positive since May 3 is 2,743. Bihar had reported 3,872 cases and 23 deaths till Monday evening. PTI AR RG SK SK