As migrant labourers stranded in other parts of the country started returning to their native places, both Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts registered a spurt in COVID-19 cases.
The number of positive cases has gone up to 35 in Srikakulam district and 19 in Vizianagaram district. A big chunk of them were reported among migrant workers who had come from Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Nellore and Vijayawada.
According to sources, around 2,500 persons returned to their native villages in Vizianagaram, while 11,500 labourers returned to Srikakulam in the last few days.
Keeping this in view, Srikakulam Collector J. Nivas has directed the officials of the medical and health department to conduct tests for labourers at Pydibhimavaram and Itchapuram checkposts.
“The persons who test negative will be told to observe home quarantine. Those who test positive will be sent to COVID-19 hospitals for the treatment,” said Mr. Nivas.
He added that the police personnel have been directed to intensify vigilance on all routes as some workers reportedly tried to avoid testing at checkposts. Village volunteers have also been directed to gather details of all labourers and submit it to the officials.
Meanwhile, Vizianagaram Collector M. Hari Jawaharlal said that people’s cooperation was necessary to break the chain of the infection in the district.
Both the district administrations have decided not to inform public about new positive cases although they would provide details to the State government, which is announcing the cumulative tally everyday instead of a district-wise breakdown of cases. The new policy is said to be followed to ‘alleviate’ tension among the people.