Migrant movement puts govt on the edge 

Karnataka government says it is taking steps to ensure returnees are compulsorily quarantined  

Published: 15th May 2020 06:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2020 06:27 AM   |  A+A-

Migrant workers from Bihar, who started walking from Bengaluru to their homes, rest near Devanahalli on Thursday | Shriram BN

Express News Service

BENGALURU: As thousands of migrants rush back to their homes spread across hundreds of locations in Karnataka, the district administrations are closely watching the influx with extreme concern. As the train ferrying about 2,000 migrants arrived in Kalaburagi on Thursday evening, Jewargi MLA Dr Ajay Singh looked at the crowd wondering how many of them could be carrying the virus. His concern stemmed from the fact that the first Covid-19 death in the country occurred in Kalaburagi. However, his own Jewargi constituency has not reported a single case until now.

He assured the people, “They are all going to be compulsorily quarantined.’’ Speaking to TNIE, Ajay Singh said, “It is a matter of serious concern. We have alerted the ASHA health workers, ANMs and the frontline medical staff.’’  He is not the only one who is worried. Khanapur is an entry point for those returning from Goa and MLA Dr Anjali Nimbalkar is concerned that the government had issued 600 plus passes for those returning from Goa. She said, “If the frontline health workers get infected, it is only a matter of time before the infection is passed on, we have to be extremely cautious.

’’ Tumakuru has received more than 1,200 migrants and they are being housed at different points. After eight of the returnees from Mumbai tested positive, Kunigal MLA Dr H D Ranganath is apprehensive because 66 of the migrants are returning to his constituency. He said, “They have been being quarantined.’’ KPCC president D K Shivakumar said, “The migrant workers returning home could have been better managed, they need to be quarantined safely, where they have access to essential facilities.’’
“Since Monday, thousands have been returning to Karnataka from different parts of the country by road and train,” said Minister S Suresh Kumar.

He said, “We put the migrants in buses or other vehicles and we allow them to go in batches with police pilot and escort vehicles. We are ensuring they do not go back to villages, and  making quarantine facilities available in the urban centres. Everyone is being quarantined compulsorily.” Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar said, “We will look into the issue of improving the  facilities at the quarantine centres.’’

More from Karnataka.


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