The West Bengal government will set up 200 'safe homes' to provide temporary shelter to the large number of migrant workers returning to the state to keep a check on the spread of coronavirus, a senior official said on Saturday.
The migrant labourers will be provided shelter in the safe homes irrespective of them being asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic if they do not have enough space in their homes to follow the isolation norms, he said.
The state health department on being instructed has till Saturday identified 341 blocks to build the homes, he added.
Each safe home will have one doctor, a few nurses and healthworkers who will check on the health of its inmates twice a day, the official said.
Till Friday there were 5,587 active COVID-19 patients in the state, majority of them migrant workers who have returned from other states, an official of the state health department said.
"Most of the migrant workers who have returned are asymptomatic and have been asked to stay at home as per the guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research,"" the official said.
"Majority of them have no place to stay at home as per the isolation norms. So, we have decided to set up the safe homes where asymptomatic labourers and those with mild symptoms will be kept," the official added.
The asymptomatic migrants will be allowed to go to their homes after a week or ten days. Those with mild symptoms would have to stay till they are certified that they are fit to be discharged, they said.
"If one migrant worker develops symptoms then he or she will be sent to a hospital treating COVID-19 patients," he added.
Several lakhs of migrant labourers have returned to West Bengal from other states amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the country.