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Tale of two railway stations: Migrant labourers evade Covid testing in Ranchi, Buxar

Violating protocol, hundreds if not thousands of migrant labourers evaded Covid-19 testing at the Hatia railway station in Jharkhand and Buxar railway station in Bihar.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Two special trains carrying migrant workers arrived at Hatia station on Friday morning
  • A train carrying migrant workers from Pune arrived at Buxar station on Friday evening
  • Viral photos and videos of incidents show hundreds of Covid-19 test loopholes at stations

Hundreds of migrant workers broke through police barricades at Hatia station in Ranchi to escape Covid-19 testing. The incident exposed the negligence of the Jharkhand district administration and health department.

Officials said two special trains carrying migrant workers from Surat and Mumbai arrived at Hatia station on Friday morning. Some estimates suggest that there were nearly 2,500 migrant workers on the two trains.

Teams of district and health department officials have been deployed to the station to test passengers entering Jharkhand from other states for Covid-19. Barricades were erected for this purpose.

The train from Mumbai arrived at Hatia station around 3:15 pm. As Covid-19 test kits were not available at the time, migrant workers had to wait two to three hours.

Migrant workers at Hatia station in Ranchi (Photo credits: Satyajeet Kumar / India Today)

Restless migrant workers then decided to cross the barricades and fled the station.

Meanwhile, the train from Surat arrived at 5:30 p.m. and a similar twist took place.

Where, on the one hand, strict restrictions are imposed to contain the spread of the virus and readers are underway to ensure the use of face masks, the Jharkhand incident is likely to raise alarm bells.

Chaos at Buxar Station

Similar scenes unfolded at Buxar station in Bihar, where a train carrying migrant workers from Pune arrived on Friday evening.

A video of the incident has now gone viral on social media.

In the video, dozens of migrant workers can be seen running towards the exit of Buxar station to avoid being tested for Covid-19.

The district administration has yet to issue a statement in this regard.

Local councilor Jay Tiwari said the incident frightened residents who feared they might be infected due to failures in the district administration.

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