Patna, June 3 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that the migrant labourers who had gone to other states for work were in great distress as the work providers did not take care of them. He said most of those who wanted to come back have returned.
Kumar was addressing panchayat and local body representatives on COVID-19 through video conferencing on Wednesday. He asked people not to be afraid of the virus but be vigilant and cautious about it.
Praising the role of police and health departments in enforcing the lockdowns, Kumar said the people also extended their full support to the authorities.
“There was so much awareness in the villages, that people did not allow any outsider,” he said.
He appealed to the panchayat and local body representatives to make people more aware about how important it is to wear masks and maintain social distancing to ward off coronavirus.
“Our government will provide 4 masks and soap to every family in the villages free of cost. The poor in the urban areas will also be provided masks free of cost,” Kumar said.
The chief minister cited facts in support of his claim that the government had done enough to prevent the spread of the disease and for the welfare of migrants.
He said most of the migrants who wanted to come back have returned and they were quarantined for 14 days. After the quarantine centres are wound up, if any person is found corona positive, he or she will be kept in an isolation ward, Kumar said.
“Currently, we have a capacity of 40,000 at isolation centres. A total of 2,344 beds have been arranged in Covid hospitals for the treatment of corona patients,” he said.
The Bihar Chief Minister claimed that this disease comes under the category of disaster. “We have always believed that it is the people who have the first right on the state’s coffers during a disaster,” he said.