Mumbai: Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, trains at Mumbai's Lokmanya Tilak Terminus were seen packed with migrant workers as they feared an impending lockdown.
Speaking to reporters, a migrant worker who was travelling in an Uttar Pradesh bound train said, "This train will go to Gorakhpur. We're leaving the city because COVID-19 cases are rising here."
Taking cognisance of the emerging situation, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam talked to the officials and asked the authorities to allay the fear of the migrants and monitor the COVID-19 situation. He said to the reporters, "Many of them fear that a lockdown will be imposed in the state due to rising COVID cases.
However, our state government has no such plans. We do not want businesses or small businessmen to incur losses."
"Many of them have not even got themselves tested for COVID-19 and have boarded the train illegally. We are looking into the situation. However, I can assure you that none of them can return back to our state without showing a COVID negative report", he said.
Another migrant worker told, "We are leaving for our hometown in Uttar Pradesh. As of now, there is a night curfew in place. It is very likely that a lockdown will be put into place. To avoid chaos like the previous lockdown, we are travelling back to our native place. Not sure when, whether we will come back here."
Due to a sharp rise in COVID cases, Mumbai's BMC on Thursday imposed a weekend lockdown in the city until further orders.
Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Punjab have shown a rise in the COVID daily new cases. 84.21 per cent of the new cases are reported from these 10 states.
Maharashtra reported 56,286 new COVID-19 cases, 36,130 recoveries, and 376 deaths in the last 24 hours, the state health department informed on Thursday.
According to the state government's data, the active number of COVID-19 cases in the state stands at 5,21,317.
Out of 56,286 new COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, 8,938 cases were reported in Mumbai and 12,090 in Pune. The total count of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai now stands at 4,91,698 while the active COVID-19 cases in Pune is mounted to 89,598.
As a sign of relief, the cumulative number of COVID19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 9.40 crore yesterday. A total of 9,40,96,689 vaccine doses have been given, as per the provisional report till 8 pm yesterday.