Siwan in Bihar emerges as a COVID-19 hotspot

As many as 20 of the 51 positive cases in the State are from this district. Many paitents have travel history to Gulf.

April 09, 2020 10:28 pm | Updated 10:28 pm IST - PATNA

Long wait:  Account holders of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana in a queue in Patna on Thursday.

Long wait: Account holders of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana in a queue in Patna on Thursday.

Siwan district has emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot in Bihar, with 20 of the 51 positive case in the State coming from this district alone.

Many of Siwan’s positive cases have travel history to Gulf countries, and the villages they come from have been sealed by the district administration.


Also read: Coronavirus | Migrant workers slip out of Bihar quarantine centres at night, return by day


On Thursday, 10 of the 12 COVID-19 positive cases detected in Bihar were from Siwan district — nine from the same family and most of them women. “They all came into contact with a person who had a travel history to Oman and whose sample had earlier tested positive,” said the State’s Principal Health Secretary Sanjay Kumar. Many of the district’s positive cases are from Raghunathpur, Barharia, Darauli and Hasanpur blocks. A large number of residents from these areas bordering the neighbouring district of Gopalganj go to Gulf countries every year to work as masons, constructions labourers and unskilled workers.


Also read: Bihar govt to take action against 198 doctors for dereliction of duty


“The borders of villages from which the highest number of COVID-19 positive cases have come have been sealed and there is strict monitoring by district officials... it’s a curfew-like situation there,” Bihar’s Director-General of Police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey told presspersons in Patna.

The district administration has sent samples of over 90 people from the affected areas for test in Patna.

“Local people have been asked to cooperate with officials and come forward to test,” State Health Minister Mangal Pandey, who is himself from Siwan, said. Bihar has, so far, reported 51 COVID-19 cases. While its ‘patient zero’ from Munger district has died, 16 patients have recovered from the disease.

Meanwhile, the State’s Disaster Management Department has said that strict action would be taken both against migrants who go missing from quarantine centres and the officials in charge of the centres.

There have been reports of migrants leaving quarantine centres at night to be with their families and returning the next morning for the free food. The migrants say the facilities at the centres are inadequate.

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