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In bizarre move, Kerala govt allows migrant labourers with COVID-19 to work if they're asymptomatic

The new directive came close on the heels of a note from the Industries Secretary that the present quarantine norms are causing a delay in the completion of infrastructure projects in the state

Published: 16th September 2020 01:48 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2020 01:48 PM   |  A+A-

coronavirus, PPE, COVID 19

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when COVID-19 cases are witnessing a spike and the situation is predicted to worsen, the state government has come out with a bizarre decision by allowing migrant labourers with COVID-19 to work if they are asymptomatic. They can work in places exclusively marked for them by taking all precautions, said the government.

As per a directive issued in this regard by the General Administration Department (GAD), such workers shouldn’t mix with any other workers or officers when they are on duty. Also, their stay and food arrangements have to be made as per COVID First-Line Treatment Centre guidelines. The arrangement and responsibility for this rest with the contractor of the project.

The new directive came close on the heels of a note from the Industries Secretary that the present quarantine norms are causing a delay in the completion of infrastructure projects in the state. The directive as released by GAD secretary Satyajeet Rajan also details the new quarantine norms and registration in the Jagratha portal.

“Guest workers who reach the state shall remain in quarantine for 14 days. Guest workers coming without a testing certificate may undergo testing on the fifth day using antigen test with the cost borne by the contractor. If any of them are found positive, they need to be segregated," reads an excerpt of the directive.

It also added that if any of the asymptomatic COVID positive workers develop any symptoms like fever, cough, sore throat, diarrhoea, loss of smell, breathlessness or others, they shall be immediately referred to the COVID hospital on the very same day.

The directive also highlights that registration on the COVID-19 Jagratha portal is mandatory for bringing guests/specialised/essential workers to the state.

More from Kerala.

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