Seven daily-wage labourers from Uttar Pradesh who returned from Maharashtra have tested positive for the coronavirus. Earlier this week, the central government allowed stranded migrants, tourists and students to return to their homes amid a nationwide lockdown announced due to coronavirus.
The labourers, who belong to eastern UP's Basti district, about 260 km from the state capital Lucknow, have been quarantined at a college. The quarantine centre is being sanitised, according to a report in NDTV.
The administration is tracing and isolating those who came in contact with these labourers.
All those who came in contact with these patients are being traced and isolated, according to the officials concerned.
It is reportedly the largest group of migrants who have been tested positive for coronavirus since returning to Uttar Pradesh.
Lakhs of migrant labourers were stuck at their workplaces across the country after PM Narendra Modi announced a lockdown on March 25 to check the spread of coronavirus.
With no transport facility available, daily wage labourers - who were left without work set for the journey to their hometowns on foot.
Nearly 2,300 people have tested positive for coronavirus and at least 42 have died in Uttar Pradesh which was the first state to allow special buses to bring back migrants.
The central government on Wednesday allowed movement of stranded labourers, students and tourists five weeks after the nationwide shutdown.
Many states, including Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Telangana, have requested special trains to ferry migrant workers back home.
The first special train ferrying over 1,200 stranded migrant labourers from Telangana to Jharkhand reached its destination Hatia Friday night, from where the state government would take them to their respective districts in sanitised buses, following COVID-19 protocols.
The train starting from Lingampally in Telangana to Hatia is the first one run by the railways since its services were suspended due to the nationwide lockdown.
For social-distancing measures, only 54 passengers are allowed per coach, which has a capacity of 72. In coupes, six passengers have been allowed in, instead of eight, the spokesperson said.
The other five "Shramik Special" trains announced by the railways are -- Nasik to Lucknow (9:30 pm), Aluva to Bhubaneswar (6 pm), Nasik to Bhopal (8 pm), Jaipur to Patna (10 pm) and Kota to Hatia (9 pm).
By Aseem Thapliyal