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UP sees upward corona curve as 22% of returning migrants test positive

As per the estimate of the state health department, the rate of infection among migrants is much higher - 22.2 per cent - than the statewide rate of infection which is pegged at 2.6 per cent.

Published: 20th May 2020 04:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2020 04:16 PM   |  A+A-

Migrants stretch out their hands for drinking water being distributed by a volunteer at Ramlila ground in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, on Monday | PTI

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh is witnessing a consistent upward curve the state's coronavirus graph with soaring daily figures of positive cases to over 300. On Tuesday, 323 people, the highest single-day figure so far, had tested positive for COVID-19.

The surge during the last 4-5 days is attributed to the rise in the number of daily sample testing which has gone much beyond 5000 mark. Moreover, the migrants testing positive for the virus tests is an added reason for the surge.

As per the estimate of the state health department, the rate of infection among migrants is much higher - 22.2 per cent - than the statewide rate of infection which is pegged at 2.6 per cent.

According to Principal secretary, health, Amit Mohan Prasad, about 22.2% - 26 out of 117 - sample collected from migrants had so far tested positive in Uttar Pradesh.

"About 4.75 lakh migrant workers in home quarantine have been surveyed by Asha workers so far. In all, 565 of them were manifesting symptoms of COVID-19. On Tuesday, 117 samples reports mainly of migrants arrived establishing 26 of them positive for the deadly virus,” said the principal secretary.

Moreover, 50 migrants, who had returned to Basti from Pune last week, tested positive for coronavirus on a single day. The migrant workers were quarantined at the district medical college and Saral College after their return on May 16.

Basti DM Ashutosh Niranjan confirmed the figures. On Wednesday morning 38 more cases all related to migrants had tested positive for COVID-19. This took the tally of migrants having tested positive to 187 in the state. After these findings, Prasad urged migrant workers to strictly follow home quarantine norms in the larger interests of their family members.

However, senior government officials confirmed on the condition of anonymity that 70 per cent of the new cases in the state were migrants. Considering that between May 1 and 19, 2,619 Covid-positive cases have cropped up in UP, around 1800 of them could be migrants.

Health officials have, however, pinned their hopes on the screening and monitoring of migrant workers by the gram nigrani and mohalla nigrani samitis (village and locality monitoring panels). Principal secretary Prasad said that anticipating a migrant surge of coronavirus cases in the state, the health department had rolled out a two-layer screening plan.

"In the first layer, migrant workers pass through a thermal scan. Those clear are sent home for 21 days’ quarantine while those held back are sent into institutional quarantine where they are tested again after seven days. Those who test negative are sent home for two weeks’ home quarantine. Positive cases
are naturally admitted to Covid hospitals," he said.

“The second layer of screening is being done by Asha workers. "The Asha workers have been asked to keep track of migrant workers in their village and alert the authorities even at the slightest doubt or onset of symptoms," said the officer.

Even the Health officials are also banking upon the data gathered from the Aarogya Setu app. "As many as 20,768 calls have been made on the basis of Aarogya Setu alerts. Among the suspects, 181 are in medical quarantine while 50 of them have tested positive. Of the confirmed cases, 23 have been sent home after complete recovery," he said.

So far, over three crore people have been surveyed so far in the state. However, the total tally of the state has breached 5000 mark. Around 130 people have lost their life due to COVID-19 and 2918 patients – 59.2% -- have been discharged from the hospitals after recovery. The number of active cases is 1825 in the state.

Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer (Lucknow), Dr Narendra Agarwal said the cases may further rise as it was very difficult to find out the contact history of all the migrant workers who have returned home.

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