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Shramik Specials drive up Covid count in north West Bengal districts

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The Times Of India
01st June, 2020 06:00 IST

Kolkata: Fresh Covid-positive cases have been reported from north Bengal districts that have received migrant workers over the past couple of days. Cooch Behar, which had on Friday reported 32 cases straight away from a hitherto blank slate, added 37 more positive cases on Sunday.

The north Bengal district turned into a containment zone overnight after 32 cases were reported on Saturday. The district administration is worried at the spike that registered immediately after Shramik Special trains began arriving.

The 37 fresh cases, apart from the earlier 32, were all returnee migrant workers who were stranded in other states. “Some are in institutional quarantine and others in home quarantine. Collection of second swab samples and all primary contact tracing are being done right now,” said district magistrate Pawan Kadyan. “We will declare containment zones where applicable,” he added.

Over the past few days, six Shramik Specials on an average have been arriving in Cooch Behar carrying thousands of migrant workers. On Friday, six trains from states such as Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, and Delhi had arrived. Five more reached Cooch Behar on Sunday from states such as Gujarat and Kerala.

Another north Bengal district, Alipurduar, too reported five fresh cases, all migrant workers returning from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh.

On Saturday, the Bengal health department recorded fresh cases in districts such as South Dinajpur (9), Murshidabad (11), Nadia (18), Birbhum (27), Purulia (6), Bankura (8), Howrah (47), Hooghly (43) and North 24 Parganas (60). Incidentally, each district has received hundreds of migrant workers over the past five days.

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