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Covid cases among migrants a concern in Himachal

Covid cases among migrants a concern in Himachal

The rising Covid cases among migrant labourers in Mandi and Kullu has become a major cause for concern.



Dipender Manta

Tribune News Service

Mandi, August 12

The rising Covid cases among migrant labourers in Mandi and Kullu has become a major cause for concern. The migrants are returning from Bihar and Nepal in search of livelihood. As many as 47 labourers were found infected in Kullu district a few days ago, while more tested positive for Covid-19 in Mandi district.

Since the migrants do not have adequate accommodation and many members of a family share one room, it is difficult to contain the spread of infection among them. Most of these labourers work at apple orchards, but they are not provided accommodation by their owners, forcing them to share rooms.

Though the migrants had returned to their native places amid the pandemic-induced lockdown, poverty forced them to come back in search of livelihood.

One of the labourers, who has tested Covid-positive, said they were forced to venture out of their houses and risk their lives to arrange two square meals a day. The state government was bearing the cost of their treatment, which was a major relief for them.

Apple orchardists from Mandi and Kullu district have also expressed concern over the Covid outbreak among the labour class.

An orchardist said they were already facing an acute labour shortage and now positive cases among migrants had worsened the situation.

Chief Medical Officer, Mandi, Dr Devender Sharma said the treatment cost of Covid patients was being borne by the state government. There were 141 active cases in Mandi district, while the tally in Kullu stood at 72.

Accommodation a problem

Since the migrants do not have adequate accommodation and many members of a family share one room, it is difficult to contain the spread of infection among them. Most of these labourers work at apple orchards, but are not provided accommodation by their owners, forcing them to share rooms.


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