“The passes will not be issued for migrants coming from areas where many cases have emerged. With migrant workers testing positive there is a strong possibility of rapid spread of the virus among the migrants,” said a senior official from the state health department.
The workers had travelled from Mumbai — which has a high number of positive cases — and therefore the chances of them having transmitted the virus are very high. Three of the returnees, who had come from Mumbai to Yadadri, had tested positive a few days back and four others, who had come to Macheriyal, tested positive on Saturday. Among them, at least three are related and had reached the state two days back. All of them are being treated at Gandhi Hospital.
A massive exercise has been launched by health authorities to find the contacts, which is expected to be in big numbers, of the migrant workers.
Officials have also been directed to not issue travel passes to workers coming from zones with highest number of cases. “We have been given instructions in this regard. Since the number of positive cases being reported in these areas are high, passes are not being given for now to migrant workers to prevent the spread of the virus,” added the official.
They were admitted to the Singareni area hospital three days back and their samples were taken for testing and they were then transferred to the Gandhi Hospital.
“I had gone to Mumbai to stay with my family there and had come with some of my relatives. We hired a cab to come back. All of us work there in factories,” said one of the patients.
Given the poor living conditions of migrant workers who often share rooms and do not always have access to basic precautions such as masks and sanitizers, the health authorities are jittery about allowing migrant workers in. Moreover, all the seven migrant workers (aged 30-80 years) who tested positive in the past week had travelled to the state by road but in groups. A few of workers who were exhibiting symptoms were identified by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) teams, said an official.