COVID-19 cases hit new record in UP as migrants return

Uttar Pradesh, the state with the highest number of returning migrant workers in India, has reported the sharpest increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases yet.

A total of 360 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday. The earlier record was set on Tuesday, when 315 new cases were reported.

The number of COVID-19 positive migrant workers rose by about 190 to 1,230.

With this, the number of active Coronavirus cases in the state — housed in various hospitals — jumped by 212 to 2194. This is also higher than Tuesday’s tally of 181.

No new deaths were reported, which remained unchanged at 127.

A sharp increase in COVID-19 cases is along expected lines in Uttar Pradesh, given the hundreds of thousands of people who arrive in the state every day from big cities like Mumbai and Delhi.

Amit Mohan Prasad, UP’s principal secretary for health, said a total of 1.53 million (15.27 lakh) migrant laborers have returned to the state so far.

Out of these, 46,000 have been tested, and within these 2.7% (1,230 migrants) were found to be COVID-19 positive. Only those with symptoms are subjected to testing.

Around 5.6 lakh migrants have been subjected to checks and surveillance so far.

Meanwhile, the UP government has started pooling 5 or 10 samples for testing.

Out of around 800 pools tested over the past 24 hours, said the principal secretary, 178 (22.3%) came back positive.

In terms of individual samples, a total of 6,740 were tested, out of which 360 were positive.