Kozhikode

COVID-19: Migrant workers in Kozhikode yet to get support

Even as the Labour Department boasts of special consideration for migrant labourers, many of those who now stay back in various rural labour camps in Kozhikode district are yet to get medical attention or social support to overcome the pandemic scare. Though there is an increase in the number of daily COVID-19 tests, quarantine rules are hardly followed by workers owing to the absence of facilities in their camps.

A district-level control room opened by the Labour Department to answer migrant workers’ grievances is also proving to be ineffective with the less number of daily calls. Workers are even clueless about the launch of such a service. Language barriers have also hit many as they struggle to understand local arrangements and restrictions imposed to fight the pandemic.

A migrant worker from Uttar Pradesh, who works in a salon in Kozhikode city, said employers of many of his friends in the district were yet to offer any service to them to help them survive. “Many of them are managing food expenses with their own money. It will change only if they get the food kit promised by the government,” he said.

In a recent incident, four buildings occupied by migrant labourers in Changaroth panchayat had been locked by the authorities as 20 workers had tested positive for the virus. The main reason for the spread was the lack of proper awareness and quarantine facilities in their camps. Even while awaiting test results, many of them had freely interacted with others.

Meanwhile, Labour Department sources said they were busy with the preparations to intensify field-level activities based on the newly released COVID-19 surge management plan. Apart from ongoing activities, it would ensure increased daily testing, better treatment facilities for patients and COVID protocol-compliant living standards for them, they said.

“Arrangements are also in place under a newly constituted Guest Workers’ Welfare team to conduct COVID tests for all showing symptoms. Those test positive will be immediately shifted to nearby first-line treatment centres,” said an officer attached to the Labour Department. According to him, the formation of camp management committees comprising ward members and village officials is also in the final phase to address the issues, he said.


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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 1:53:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/covid-19-migrant-workers-in-kozhikode-yet-to-get-support/article34520612.ece

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