Patna: Bihar on Sunday had yet another spike in COVID-19 cases with at least 242 people testing positive for it, rasing total cases in the state to 3,806.
The state government, however, appeared optimistic that the worst may well be over in Bihar as they planned to wind up over 12,000 block-level quarantine centres set up to lodge the state’s migrant workers returning back form elsewhere in the country.
The spurt in COVID-19 cases in the state is due to the returning migrants, most of whom have reached their native places in the state after completing their 14-day stay in quarantine centres, said officials.
“Altogether 12,291 block quarantine centres are functional in the state at present. They will be winded up by June 15. Till now, 7.94 lakh people have returned to their homes after the 14-day quarantine period,” Bihar’s Information and Public Relations Secretary Anupam Kumar told reporters on Sunday.
“Another 5.76 lakh are stationed at these quarantine centres and their stay period will be over shortly,” he added.
“Almost all migrants from across the country, who desired to return to Bihar because of the lockdown, have already come back. The few that remain are expected to be here in a day or two. Hence, the quarantine centres can now be dispensed with,” he added.
More than 20 lakh migrants are said to have returned to the state since the beginning of this month, by special trains and other modes of transport.
Many of them have returned from places much worse affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, carrying the infection.
Since May 3, the state has witnessed its tally grow by 3,000 and the number of migrants who have tested positive during the period is a staggering 2,569.
The infected migrants have come back from 23 states, with returnees from Maharashtra being 648, Delhi (559), Gujarat (327), Haryana (220), Uttar Pradesh (134), Rajasthan (125), West Bengal (106), Telangana (104) and Punjab (80), comprising the major chunk, reveal the state’s Health Department data.
Meanwhile, the spike witnessed during the day was primarily due to a high number of cases reported from districts like Begusarai (46), Bhagalpur (32), Kishanganj (24), Supaul and Purnea (13 each), Muzaffarpur (11) and Jehanabad (10).
The spurt in Begusarai has caused its tally to swell to 231, only behind Patna with 245 case.
Other badly affected districts are Rohtas (206), Madhubani (190), Bhagalpur (162), Munger and Khagaria (157 each) and Jehanabad (148).
COVID-19 cases have been reported from all 38 districts in the state and 13 of these have tallies exceeding 100. Only Sheohar, with nine cases, has a single digit tally.
Death toll in the state stands at 21, with Khagaria accounting for the maximum number of three casualties followed by Patna, Vaishali, Bhojpur and Siwan (two each) and Begusarai, Munger, East Champaran, Sitamarhi, Saran, Jehanabad, Bhagalpur, Samastipur, Rohtas and Nalanda (one each).