Coronavirus Cases in India: Rural India as Cases Increase with Return of Migrants | India News
On Wednesday, TOI reported how rural areas in Rajasthan saw a steady increase in Covid cases, outnumbering numbers in urban areas as immigrants arrived from the states they worked in. About 30% of Covid cases in the state now come from rural districts. There has been a significant increase in migrant-intensive districts such as Dungarpur, Jalore, Jodhpur, Nagaur and Pali.
And, this is not only in Rajasthan alone.
In Andhra Pradesh, the Covid-19 outbreak was predominantly limited to urban areas until about a month ago, accounting for almost 90% of cases. But rural areas of the state have now begun to witness an increase in cases.
Officials attribute this in part to increased movement from urban to rural areas and vice versa. Andhra Pradesh reported around 1,500 cases in the past three weeks, of which around 500 cases arose from rural areas of the state. Some infections are also reported from the AP’s internal tribal pockets.
In Odisha, government officials say more than 80% of positive cases in the state now come from rural areas, with 4.5 thousand lakh of migrants so far.
More than 80% of the 4.5 lakh migrants have returned to 11 districts, all of which have witnessed an outbreak in positive cases, with Ganjam having zero cases until May 2, now with the highest in Odisha with 499 cases and three deaths.
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The situation is such that migrants are treated as marginalized in many places and are forced to stay outside the village. Many now regret their return as they cannot stay home despite following quarantine rules.
Kerala saw an increase in cases in its border districts of Kasaragod (112 cases) and Palakkad (144) in May.
When Covid-19 first attacked West Bengal in March, Kolkata also recorded the first cases and deaths. Over time, districts near the city saw a peak.
With the return of migrant workers, the number of crown patients increased in Malda, North and South Dinajpur, Hooghly and Coochbehar. Except for Hooghly, other districts are far beyond Calcutta, in North Bengal. Almost 6 lakh of migrant workers have to date returned via rail and road networks.
As of June 2, 4,049 cases have been reported in Bihar, of which 2,905 are migrants who have returned after May 3. Therefore, 70% of cases in Bihar are from migrants and an official said they are from rural Bihar areas.
On April 1, Bihar had 24 positive Covid cases and five of them were from rural areas, all of whom had returned from the Gulf countries. On May 1, the number shot up to 450. Shramik special trains have transported about 20 lakh of migrant workers and others stranded to Bihar. It is estimated that more than 2 lakh people have returned by road.
In Chhattisgarh, the number of positive cases in rural areas rose to 464 in June, from just eight on May 1. Health authorities say that of the 556 positive cases in the state, as of May 30, 90% are migrants who entered. More than two lakh migrants have returned to Chhattisgarh.
Uttar Pradesh, where roughly 30,000 lakh migrants have returned so far, has also seen a change in trend, and if active cases can be a parameter, Basti and Amethi host the second and third highest covid-19 cases in the state. .
On June 2, Basti had 183 active cases and Amethi had 142 active cases. The data in UP clearly attributes an increase in migration. As of June 2, 70% of the 3,324 active cases in the state were migrants.
In Punjab, authorities say the key reason for rural areas outnumbering urban areas in the Covid-19 cases is a large number of pilgrims, who returned from Nanded in Maharashtra, tested positive.
Although much of the Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu are still found in urban areas, mainly because 78% of the total of 10,680 active cases, as of June 2, are in Chennai, Koyembedu’s group brought the virus to several villages across the state. When dozens of villagers working at the Koyambedu wholesale vegetable market in Chennai returned to their native villages, rural areas began to report an increase in cases. Now, there is a second wave of increase in rural TN with the return of migrant workers.
(With contributions from Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Kochi, Kolkata, Patna, Bhopal, Lucknow, Chandigarh and Chennai)