Migrants contribute 78% of new coronavirus cases in Bihar

Migrants contribute 78% of new coronavirus cases in Bihar

Between May 3 and May 15, Bihar recorded 501 new cases of the novel coronavirus, of which 391 cases were related to migrants. The numbers revealed that migrants constitute 78 per cent of the new cases, Bihar Health Secretary Lokesh Kumar Singh said on Friday.

Of the 391 migrants who tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 12 days in Bihar, as many as 122 cases pertains to those who have returned from New Delhi.

Besides, 105 migrants, who returned from Gujarat, tested positive, while 77 from Maharashtra were found infected with the virus.

State-wise segregation of cases has been done to identify the high-risk states.

Many migrants coming from other states are being immediately tested.

Meanwhile, a 27-year-old Bihar cadre IAS officer has also tested positive in Bihar. According to Anupam Kumar, Secretary of Information and Public Relation Department, the officer had visited a quarantine camp to speak to the migrants there.

Before a batch of migrants who started returning to Bihar from May 2, Bihar witnessed only 58 cases of migrants who tested positive. These cases were among the group which returned to Bihar soon after the end of the first lockdown period on April 14.

"Overall, the domestic migrants have contributed 44.10 per cent of Bihar's total 1,018 cases of Covid-19 recorded so far. However, from May 3, with the migrants returning from hotspots, the ratio has changed completely," said a senior health department official.

A total of 2.34 per cent of the 43,371 Covid-19 samples tested in Bihar came out to be positive for Sars-CoV-2 till Friday at 10 pm. Recently, the same figure was at about 1.7 per cent - 1.8 per cent.

This spike in proportion suggests that the "infection rate" among migrants was more than double the state's average, leading to a spike in cases during Lockdown 3.0.

As of now, Bihar has six approved government testing laboratories, of which four are in Patna and one each at the medical colleges in Muzaffarpur and Bhagalpur.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's has already instructed health department officers to increase testing of Covid-19 samples to at least 10,000 samples (in a day) as against 1,900-2,000 tests being done as of now.

"The CM has also issued direction to have the testing facility to be extended even to districts, and at the same time, to ensure that there was no shortage of equipment and drugs across the state," said Anupam Kumar.

Meanwhile, 27 coronavirus patients have recovered and discharged from different facilities in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries in the state to 438 so far. Seven people infected with the novel coronavirus have died in Bihar.