25,000 non-Kashmiri migrant workers return to J-K

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A total of 25,000 non-Kashmiri migrant workers, out of the 40,000, who had left Jammu and Kashmir after the coronavirus outbreak, have returned to the Union Territory for work, a top official said on Wednesday.

A total of 3.2 lakh people, including the migrant workers, arrived in Jammu and Kashmir from outside since the nationwide lockdown came into effect on March 25, and all of them were subjected to COVID-19 tests.

“A total of 25,000 non-Kashmiri migrant workers, who had gone to their respective states after the coronavirus outbreak, have returned to Jammu and Kashmir,” Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) Pandurang Kondbarao Pole told PTI here.

As estimated, 40,000 non-Kashmiri migrant workers were engaged in different works in the Union Territory prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nationwide lockdown for the first time, migrant workers staying in different parts of the country became desperate to leave for their native places.

Due to the non-availability of transportation at that time, many of them had started returning home on foot, creating a humanitarian crisis.

Later, the central government started ‘Shramik Special’ trains for the transportation of the migrant workers.

Jammu and Kashmir has carried out COVID-19 tests of these 3.2 lakh people, including the migrant workers, who have returned to the UT.

Of these, 29,963 had arrived at the Jammu airport till August 4 and 48,680 in Srinagar airport. A total of 41,680 arrived at the railway station in Jammu while the rest came by road.

“Jammu and Kashmir is the only state which is carrying out COVID-19 test under the real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method,” spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir government Rohit Kansal said.

“We are doing the highest testing and our mortality is lowest,” he said.

Jammu and Kashmir has so far done a total of 6.63 lakh testing.

Testing for per million people is 50,853. The mortality rate in the Union Territory is 1.9 per cent.

In Jammu and Kashmir, so far 22,396 people have tested positive for COVID-19 of which 14,856 have recovered.

A total of 417 patients have succumbed to the deadly virus in the UT.