Himachal Apple farmers wary, seek screening of Nepalese workers

Himachal Apple farmers wary, seek screening of Nepalese workers

Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 18

All gatherings banned

  • To prevent the spread of Covid, Additional Chief Secretary, Health, RD Dhiman has ordered a ban on all social, cultural, religious, sports, political, academic and mass gatherings in the state indefinitely with immediate effect till further orders.

The outbreak of novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) has hit apple farmers hard. With the apple season approaching, the arrival of labourers from Nepal has abruptly stopped as the Uttarakhand Government has sealed the transit border.

Farmers have also expressed concern over the possibility of infection reaching the apple belt if the screening of Nepalese workers is not done properly on the border.

They have demanded proper screening of the labourers in the coming months also when the restrictions are eased.

The state disease surveillance authorities said two Nepalese were already in the area and they had showed no symptoms of Coronavirus so far. Allaying fears of the farmers, Shimla District Magistrate Amit Kasyap said, “Both Nepalese workers had seasonal flu and they responded well to treatment. They are not required to undergo any further screening.”

Kashyap said they had deployed rapid response teams at Kuddu and Ferach that shared the border with neighbouring Uttarakhand for ensuring the screening of the suspected cases of flu coming from Nepal.

“We have set up a quarantine room in each hospital in the area. A rapid response medical team has also been deployed at ISBT-Shimla to screen and sanitise three HTRC buses that take Nepalese labourers from Uttarakhand to ISBT-Shimla daily,” he said.

Kashyap said the movement of labourers from Nepal had stopped after the Uttarakhand Government sealed the border.

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