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Migrant workers being sent back without proper screening: Mamata slams railways

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged on Saturday that the railways was not ensuring proper screening of passengers entering the state through long-distance trains.

She claimed that migrant workers from the state, particularly those in Maharashtra, were being packed off in trains and sent back without medical checkups.

"I have been saying this for the last one month. Now India is entering the third stage (of the coronavirus outbreak), which is very dangerous. The next two weeks are extremely important. I have asked the chief secretary to tell the railway authorities to immediately stop all long-distance trains," the chief minister told Bengali television channel "ABP Ananda".

"I have also been urging the Centre to stop all international flights coming to the country for a long time," she said.

On the availability of masks and hand sanitisers, Banerjee said the priority of the government was to supply these items to the health workers, cleaning staff and police personnel first.

"The small-scale sector of the state is manufacturing around 6,000 litres of alcohol-based hand sanitisers everyday. We will first supply it to those who are in the priority list and then it will be made available to the public," she said.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo accused the Centre of not making enough masks and hand sanitisers available to the state.

She also urged people to avoid large gatherings.

"Some organisations are organising large gatherings even now, which should be completely avoided. I urge them not to play with fire at this point in time," the chief minister said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 21 2020. 16:08 IST