As the migrant employee row gathered momentum, there have been certain indicators that is adding fuel to the coronavirus pandemic in some states.
States like Bihar, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh have already began to spurt in their infection numbers as thousands of workers return home from corona hotspots like Mumbai, Chennai, Indore, Surat etc.
In proportion to their total population Bihar, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh has less number of Coronavirus positive cases. Till Wednesday Odisha has recorded 538 COVID-19 positive cases 101 cases rise in a single day. Just five of the 21 coronavirus-affected districts account for 84 per cent of the total cases in the state.
Ganjam district is a case that needs a special mention. Until May 2, no COVID-19 positive cases were recorded however the Ganjam district has suddenly became the epicentre with tally of 210 cases positive cases after migrant labourers began returning from Gujarat.
State Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik has asked the administration to increase the bed strength in corona care units in migration-affected districts like Ganjam.
Bihar having the population of 10crore, and has only recorded 908 Coronavirus cases so far and the death toll stands at 7, with one cancer patient succumbing to coronavirus on Wednesday. However on Tuesday the state has recorded its highest jump in coronavirus cases after 130 people tested positive for the virus among which 124 were migrants worker who came from high risk red zones in states like Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Due to limited testing capacity and the influx of lakhs of migrants in the coming days, Nitish Kumar government on Wednesday asked the health department to ramp up testing. As per media reports the state government seeks to improve the testing rate from 1,800 to 10,000 per day.
Uttar Pradesh is the worst affected due to Coronavirus cases with a population of 23 crore, which is more than the population of most independent countries in the world, on Wednesday Uttar Pradesh has recorded 3,728 COVID-19 positive cases among which 82 has died of the virus.
The influx of migrants has raised the alarm bells in the state administration. “The virus has spread to the districts previously unaffected by the virus, after the return of the migrant workers,” a publication quoted a state official as saying.
States have already begun worrying about the state of their economy as the human tragedy unfolds across the country.
Mumbai has become the hotspot of Coronavirus; Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Wednesday demanded a special package for Mumbai. “Workers are leaving as they have no work here. Mumbai’s importance as the country’s financial capital should be sustained,” Raut said.
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel wrote to the Prime Minister seeking a Rs 30,000 crore financial package for the mineral-rich state. “If Rs 30,000 crore for the upcoming three months is not approved, it will lead to an economic crisis in the state, thereby, affecting the operations of normal business,” the letter read.
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel has now lowered expenditure limits in various departments due to decrease in revenue due to the pandemic-induced shutdown. As per one report, the departments will now only be able to spend 70 per cent of their allocated budgets.
-Davinder Singh, NMTV News