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Coronavirus outbreak: Odisha, Bihar facing new challenges as migrants carry virus along

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New Delhi, May 15: India is all set to face fresh challenges as several states are witnessing a massive number of migrant workers, who were stranded in several parts of the country, head back home amid coronavirus pandemic.

migrants

According to reports, Bihar, that collected as many as 4,275 samples from among the migrants who returned onboard through special trains between May 4 and May 13, recorded 320 (7.5 per cent) positive cases of COVID-19. This is above the positivity rate for the state, which is just about 2.75 per cent. Bihar has so far recorded 999 positive cases, just a whisker away from the four-digit-mark.

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The chances of high rate of positive cases among migrant workers is ringing the warning bells in Bihar, that is a primary destination state for migrants. It is reportedly said that migrants returning through six inter-state borders, about 10,000 are entering each day.

Also, it can be seen that a large number of infections among migrants is one reason why Bihar has seen its caseload rise rapidly in the last few days. With less than nine days, Bihar has among the fastest doubling time of cases well below the national average of 12.65 days.

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Meanwhile, Odisha was also one of the first states in India to have reported a surge in the number positive cases of COVID-19 in migrant workers on arrival with Ganjam district being the hotspot reporting as many 249 cases in the 10 days since May 5.

In the same time duration, Andhra Pradesh has a total of 105 positive cases imported from other states, as many as 12.20 per cent of the state's active cases. Of the 105, 67 are from Maharashtra, 26 from Gujarat, 10 from Odisha and one each from Karnataka and West Bengal.

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Earlier, the state health department said that 930 migrant workers, who returned to Kurnool on a special train from Thane, Maharashtra. Of the 250, 38 were positive for coronavirus. All worked in a fish market in Mumbai.

On the other side, Karnataka has reported 96 cases from outside the state since May 5. It can be seen that this is 20.25 per cent of the state's active cases. Reports suggest that 48 are from Ahmedabad, 29 from Ajmer, 16 are from Mumbai, two from Odisha and one from Chennai.

However, for Karnataka, it is the spread of the cases with travel history from outside the state, that will be a bigger worry for containment. The 96 cases that reported in the state are now spread across 14 districts.

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