With the influx of migrants breaching the two million mark already, the Uttar Pradesh government is procuring latest machines to jack up covid-19 testing capacity.
The daily testing capacity, including pool testing, has now touched 7,000 samples, and the state is aiming to raise it to 10,000 in the days to come.
The massive arrival of migrants over the past few days has increased the infection load of UP, especially after the Shramik Special trains started to ply from this month.
So far, more than 1,000 trains have already brought back nearly 1.37 million labourers from other states. About 150 additional trains carrying nearly 160,000 stranded workers are expected to arrive in the next 2-3 days.
Besides, 650,000 workers had returned either by their own means or ferried by the roadways buses from the neighbouring states viz. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand etc.
“Since, the number of corona cases are rising with the steady arrival of migrants, the chief minister has directed the medical and health department to increase the daily sample testing to 10,000,” UP additional chief secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi said here this evening.
He informed that new testing machines have been procured and are expected to come in the next 3-4 days.
At the same time, the government is increasing the number of covid-19 beds to 100,000 from the present count of 78,500 beds across the states.
“Although most of the existing covid-19 beds are still vacant, yet we have planned to increase it to 100,000 to deal with any eventuality in the wake of the heavy influx of migrant workers,” he noted.
The ASHA (accredited social health activist) workers have surveyed nearly 600,000 such migrants in UP, while the samples of more than 46,000 were collected for testing.
Additionally, over 85,000 health teams had surveyed and screened almost 35 million people in the hotspots and other areas for random and targetted sample collection, UP medical and health principal secretary Amit Mohan Prasad said.
According to the state government, between 150,000 and 200,000 labourers are returning to UP each day by trains and buses, and the process will continue till all the stranded migrants are evacuated.
Besides, the state claimed to have deployed 27,000 buses for the intra and interstate movement of labourers, including 12,000 roadways buses and 15,000 buses sourced from private organisations by the respective district magistrates.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has further directed officials to ramp up the quarantine facilities to accommodate 1.5 million people.
The state is preparing a database of migrants detailing their skills so that they could be sourced for employment by the specific industries and segments, such as plumbing, metals, textile, wood, civil construction etc. The government is energising the self help groups in the rural areas.