Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has expressed his concern to PM Modi stating that Bihar may become one of the worst COVID-19 affected state if not checked strictly and in a planned way. During a video conferencing meeting of the Prime Minister with Chief Ministers of states, Nitish Kumar advocated the extension of lockdown till 31st May.
With 150 migrant labourers who arrived in Bihar last week tested positive for Coronavirus, Nitish Kumar also sought Centre's help to enhance testing centres. Sources said that during the course of the meeting Nitish Kumar raised the following issues:
1. Coronavirus in Bihar reached through the people who came to the state from outside.
2. Bihar may become one of the worst affected states if not checked strictly in a planned way.
3.Shortage of ventilator and testing capacity not being sufficient in Bihar. Since the migrants are coming back to Bihar in large numbers, test centres are needed in every district of Bihar. More than 10 lakh migrants are expected. The state governments wants to improve this with the support of the central govt.
4. Number of Shramik trains must be increased so that maximum migrant labours can reach Bihar as soon as possible in the next 7 days.
5. Passenger train services should not start till the end of this month.
6. Lockdown must continue till 31st of May
So far, 150 Shramik special trains have ferried more than 1.5 lakh migrants from different parts of the country. Out of these, 150 migrants have tested positive who came back to Bihar in the last one week on Shramik special trains. Majority of the migrant labours who tested positive were asymptomatic which is even more dangerous. So far, 743 people have tested Corona positive in Bihar. 350 people have recovered and 5 deaths have been reported. Most of the migrants who tested positive have arrived from Red Zones of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Andhra.
Bihar expects at least 10 lakh migrants to come back to the state. The Bihar govt has made 3500 quarantine centres in blocks.
Bihar CM has already announced that the train fare and a daily allowance of minimum Rs 1000 would be reimbursed to every migrant.
But with this migrant population returning back in large number to their villages, the fear of spreading the pandemic to the community level has grown stronger and both PM Modi and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar have expressed their concern.