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July sees 120 migrant workers in Coimbatore district testing positive

As many as six Bihar-based migrant workers, employed at a unit at Malumichampatti, tested positive for the Coronavirus in the district on Monday.

Published: 29th July 2020 05:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th July 2020 05:50 AM   |  A+A-

Sanitation workers leaving after spraying disinfectant at Arumbakkam in Chennai on Tuesday | DEBADATTA MALLICK

By Express News Service

COIMBATORE: As many as six Bihar-based migrant workers, employed at a unit at Malumichampatti, tested positive for the Coronavirus in the district on Monday. With this recent addition, the number of Bihar-based workers affected by Covid-19 across the district, between July 1 to 27, stands at 120. Of them, 25 are from Pollachi. 

All the infected persons are employed at industrial units across the district, said the Health Department officials. So far, seven industrial units have been shut down for the fumigation process after the workers tested positive. As of now, the industrial units and factories have been issued certain protocols that they need to follow while bringing back the migrant labourers from their hometown or recruiting new labourers. 

A higher official from the Department of Industrial Safety and Health (DISH)-Coimbatore said, “The units must subject the migrant workers and new recruits to the Covid-19 test. If the workers test negative, they must be placed under quarantine for 14 days. We have suggested the industries to avoid recruiting new workers, considering the order flow is yet to gain pace.” District Revenue Officer D Ramaduraimurugan said no unit was sealed by the Revenue Department for violations.

The units were closed only for seven days for the fumigation process. “The migrant workers entering the district are being placed under quarantine for seven days. The industries and factories have been told to provide multivitamin tablets to them to boost their immunity,” he added. Meanwhile, the Health Department has planned to pool test samples of the workers. Deputy Director of Health Services G Ramesh Kumar said the district is deemed to be fit for pooled sample testing as the rate of positive cases is less than five per cent according to the observations made by ICMR.  Ramesh said, “We could put together five samples in one pool, whenever the number of cases in an industrial unit raises. This method reduces the time taken to test the samples. About 1,000 samples could be tested in 200 pools.” 

Protocols issued to industries 
● Subjecting migrant and new workers to Covid-19 testing 
● Placing workers, who tested negative for the virus, under a 14-day quarantine
● Establishing a handwashing facility on the premise 
● Thermal screening of workers
● Maintaining a record of in-time and out-time of workers
● Changing the shift and lunch timing
● Transporting workers at only 50 per cent of bus capacity
● Providing multivitamin tablets to the workers

Get, set, spray

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