With the Bihar migrant workers returning homes again amid fears of fresh lockdown in the country in view of the surging Covid cases over the past one fortnight, the Bihar government has directed the officials to set up quarantine centres at block level to house the returning workers. The move is aimed at checking the spread of Covid infections by preventing the returning migrants from mixing with the co-villagers.

The government took the decision after holding a highlevel meeting with the district magistrates today. Alarmed at the rising infections, CM Nitish Kumar has asked the officials concerned to keep a watch on the people returning homes from other states and also increase testing.

“Covid infection is spreading fast in the state. You will have to analyse why such cases are increasing and work under a well-planned strategy based on past experiences to tackle the rising infection,” the CM told the officials.

In the past few days, thousands of migrant workers have returned homes in the state, fearing fresh Covid lockdown. The migrants are returning by buses, trucks and trains as they don’t want to undergo the mental and physical tortures they had to undergo last year.

The state government also advised the people to strictly follow the Covid guidelines, maintain social distancing, wear masks in public places . The government also ordered for frequent testing of all healthcare workers as well their family members.

According to Bihar health department, the total active Covid cases in Bihar which were recorded at 436 on 19 March have now gone up to 4,143 by the end March.

The state has been reporting more than 800 cases daily for the past three days and the number is increasing.

The daily Covid cases had got restricted to little around 25 only in the beginning of March. This has puzzled the health authorities who say they are just unable to check the surge in cases despite best efforts.

The surge in cases has prompted the state to shut schools, colleges and coaching institutes till 11 April and ban all public gatherings till the end of this month.

This, however, has triggered strong protests in various districts with the students questioning the logic behind the decision.

The students went on the rampage in Rohtas district, chasing the officials trying to enforce closure of coaching centres.

The protesters said they fail to understand the government’s decision to shut educational institutions when the malls, cinema halls and shops remain open.