A special train carrying
around 1,200 stranded migrant workers on Friday left Hyderabad for Hatia in Jharkhand after the Railways Ministry acceded to a request from the Telangana government for facilitating their return, as six fresh COVID-19 cases were reported.
The non-stop train left Lingampalli railway station here around 4.50 am, two days after the Union Home Ministry allowed movement of stranded migrant labourers, pilgrims and others and states like Kerala, Punjab and Bihar sought such specials.
Meanwhile, six fresh cases of COVID-19 were reported, taking the number of positive cases in the state to 1044.
The migrant workers from neighbouring Sangareddy district, about 50 km from here, were brought to the city in buses and allowed to board the 24-coach train, the first passenger train to run in the country since the national lockdown to check coronavirus came into force on March 25, officials here said.
In another instance of stranded people returning to their home state, 176 migrant workers from neighboring Andhra Pradesh were sent to their native state from Nalgonda district in Telangana on Friday.
No death occurred on Friday and the number of people who died due to the virus remained at 28, state Health Minister E Rajender told reporters.
With six fresh cases being reported, the number of people who are undergoing treatment in hospitals (active cases) was 552.
The number of people discharged from hospitals till date stood at 464, he said.
Taking strong exception to the criticism of the Congress and BJP leaders that the state was not doing enough testing, Rajender said the ICMR gave clear guidelines not to conduct tests "blindly".
The opposition leaders should speak with responsibility and after reading the guidelines of the Centre, he said.
Had the state administration not traced the contacts of those who returned from a religious congregation in Delhi and conducted tests, Hyderabad would have registered the highest number of cases in the country among various cities, the minister said.
"I am asking the BJP leaders who criticise us. Delhi police is in your control, law and order is in your control.
It is you who gave permission... though it was known that coronavirus was spreading all over the world; allowed (people) from other countries, despite knowing that it spreads in congregations.It was you who behaved without responsibility," he said.
But, it was Telangana which alerted the country when some Indonesians, who came to Karimnagar after attending the Delhi congregation, tested positive for the virus, he said.
The state government acquired personal protection equipment kits for six lakh and others and it has even announced that it is prepared to treat even one lakh patients.
The Central government has also appreciated the Telangana government for the measures taken by it to contain the virus spread, Rajender said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)