July 2020 News

Returning Labourers Add To Caseload

19 July 2020
The Tribune

Jammu: Sixty five per cent of the Covid positive cases, reported during the past 10 days in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts, were the migrant labourers returning from their native places. In May and June, the authorities had sent these labourers to their native places in the Shramik special trains during lockdown-2 and unlock-1 as they were demanding return to their respective states. 'In July, only over 15,000 migrant labourers, including those engaged in brick-kilns in Kashmir Valley, have entered Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Most of these labourers were sent to their native places during lockdown through special trains,' an official, deployed at Lakhanpur, said, adding, 'a majority of the inmates in the quarantine centres set up at different places are returnee migrant labourers'. In May and June, on an average, 900 to 1,000 persons were entering J&K through Lakhanpur per day, but this number has swelled to 4,000 in July. 'A majority of the cases reported in the plains of the Jammu province, especially Jammu, Samba and Kathua, are returnee migrant labourers,' a source said, adding, 'the huge rush of these labourers has put additional burden on the authorities'. Through Shramik special trains, J&K had sent back nearly one lakh migrant workers to their native states in the month of May and June. The Katra and Udhampur railway stations were dedicated for the return of these labourers to their native places.