Tribune News Service
Patiala, September 27
Factories in the district have become Covid hotspots.
As many as 58 employees of a steel factory in Bhadson tested positive for the virus during a random sampling on Saturday. It is the second Covid outbreak reported from a factory this month. Earlier, 143 employees of a textile company in Samana were found infected.
Positivity rate high: Civil Surgeon
It is a matter of concern because the positivity rate is found to be high during random sampling at factories. Repeated reminders to the employers to get the workers tested fell on deaf ears. Consequently, we had to start random sampling. - Harish Malhotra, Civil Surgeon, Patiala
Thousands of migrant labourers working in factories, workshops and mills have already become a cause of worry for the Health Department. A majority of the employers have brought labourers from neighbouring states without getting them tested for Covid.
Sources said factory owners reportedly had brought migrant labourers – illegally - in private buses to the district through villages without any registration at the Shambhu barrier.
The Health Department claimed that employers had not informed the authorities about the interstate migration of labourers.
Sources in the department said the positive cases surfaced in the factory were just the tip of the iceberg.
The department daily holds camps at factories to detect Covid cases. Sources said over 500 migrant labourers had already tested positive for the virus this month.
Over 1,000 factories, including rice mills and brick kilns, are registered under the Factories Act in the district.
It is pertinent to mention that the department had issued directions to the factory owners last month to get 20 per cent of their staff tested for Covid on a weekly basis.
Patiala Civil Surgeon Harish Malhotra said it was a matter of concern because the positivity rate was found to be high during random sampling at factories.
The Civil Surgeon said, “Repeated reminders to the employers to get their workers tested fell on deaf ears. Consequently, we had to start random sampling at the factories.”
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