Migrants return, bring home the virus

RAIPUR/MANDYA/JAIPUR: Fourteen migrant workers in institutional quarantine since returning to their native Chhattisgarh tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, but even more alarming was the spectrum of infections traveling undetected across interstate borders, and Rajasthan reported on Monday three new cases in which returnees slipped in without being examined.

The new cases in Chhattisgarh represent the highest peak in the state cycle, which occurs when only seven patients were hospitalized. With another person who tested positive Monday, Covid's count of Chhattisgarh is now 55. Before the 14 migrant workers, three of the returnees had tested positive.

In Mandya, Karnataka, two people tested positive just over 10 days after violating the confinement to go to their village from Mumbai. Deputy Commissioner Venkatesh said they arrived in Karnataka along with some relatives in the same car on April 23.

Both have been transferred to the isolation room at Mandya Medical College. We are trying to identify and locate the primary and secondary contacts of these patients, Venkatesh said.

Rajasthan also prepared for a possible spread of Covid-19 through migrant workers who enter illegally from Gujarat after a native of the village in Dungarpur became the sixth positive case in the tribal district.

Authorities said the patient had crossed over on April 17, after which someone reported him to health authorities. They put him in institutional quarantine after he was caught wandering around on April 23. His first report on April 24 was negative, but the second sample taken on Sunday was positive.

The town has been sealed. Many migrant workers are walking back to Rajasthan from Gujarat, using rural roads to skirt border checkpoints, the district chief of medical health said.

On Monday, the Ratanpur checkpoint on the Rajasthan-Gujarat border was blocked by migrant workers for the eighth consecutive day. Long lines for registration and evaluation and the fear of being quarantined are leading some migrant workers to try to sneak in other routes, an official said.