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Rajasthan to test 10% migrants

The Rajasthan government plans to test 10% of all migrants, giving priority to those returning from Maharashtra and Gujarat. Samples will be collected from migrants in a village or ward, apart from testing all migrants who have influenza-like symptoms.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: May 23, 2020, 09.32 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Faced with a huge influx of about seven lakh migrants, the Rajasthan government has decided to test ten percent of all migrants reaching their villages, giving priority in this Covid-19 testing to those returning from worst-affected states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.

Cases in Rajasthan have risen to 6,377 as on Friday with about 2,700 active cases. The state has received nearly 6.75 lakh migrants, including 2.04 lakh from Maharashtra and 2.81 lakh from Gujarat, Rajasthan’s Labour Minister Tika Ram Jully said. Rajasthan is expecting about 12.27 lakh migrants in all to return to the state, as per advance registrations made. Now, as per an order issued by the state’s health ministry on May 21, it has been decided that samples will be collected from ten percent of total migrants in a village or ward, giving preference to those who have traveled from Maharashtra and Gujarat. This will be apart from Rajasthan testing all migrants who are symptomatic with influenza-like symptoms and asymptomatic migrants of the high-risk group. ET has seen a copy of the order.

While all such samples will be collected separately, Rajasthan plans to conduct pool sampling at the laboratories. As per orders of the state health ministry, a pool will be made of samples from one block or ward and as per their travel history. “Like one pool can be made of people coming from Maharashtra and separate pool for people coming back from other states,” the order says. Pool sampling has also been ordered for migrants of the high-risk group who are asymptomatic. However, migrants who are symptomatic will continue to be tested individually. This high level of testing could mean Rajasthan could conduct over a lakh tests on returning migrants alone. The state has already conducted a total of 2.9 lakh tests at the rate of almost 12,000 tests daily.

About 11 lakh migrants of other states also wish to return from Rajasthan to their home states and about two lakh of them have been sent back so far, state labour minister Tika Ram Jully said.
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