COVID-19 Lockdown: Odia Workers In Surat Leave For Ganjam Dist In Four Buses

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Berhampur/Bhubaneswar: A day after the video conferencing between Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his Gujarat counterpart Vijay Rupani on the return of the Odia workers stranded in Surat due to the nationwide lockdown, more than 200 Odia workers left for their home in district Ganjam in four buses on Monday afternoon.

Talking to mediapersons here, Ganjam Collector Vijay Amruta Kulange said that the Surat district administration has allowed the Odia workers to leave.

“The Odia workers are on their way to Ganjam district in four reserved buses at their own cost with each bus carrying 57 workers. We expect them to arrive in the district in a couple of days,” he said, adding that the district administration is in constant touch with the Surat district administration for the safe return of these migrant workers.

Asked about the steps the district administration has taken after the arrival of the migrant workers, the Collector said it has set up government quarantine centres in each panchayat with all the facilities.

He said these migrant workers will be kept at the quarantine centre in the government primary, upper primary and high schools in their respective areas for 14 days after their registration.

Regarding the test of these migrant workers, Kulange said each worker will undergo thermal screening to ascertain the symptoms. Later, a medical team will identify the workers to conduct the COVID-19 test. On the recommendation of the medical team, the district administration will take the follow-up action.

Briefing the media in Bhubaneswar earlier in the day, Commerce and Transport Minister Padmanav Behera said the state has about 15,000 buses of which 10,000 can be requisitioned to bring back the migrant workers from Surat.

“However, as about five lakh migrant Odia workers are in Surat, it is not possible to bring them back in these buses. Considering the situation, the Odisha government should take up the matter with the Gujarat government to make necessary arrangements to bring these workers in special trains,” he added.

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