Ernakulam district in Kerala has achieved a major feat by becoming the first district in the state to inoculate the most migrant workers in the state. The district has administered more than 9,000 jabs to migrant labourers administered the jab so far under the 'Guest Vax' drives.
Around 35 vaccination camps have been set up in the district for the vaccination of these people. The district has the highest number of migrant laborers or guest workers as they are called in the state with a population of 6 lakh.
According to health officials, as migrant workers were included in the priority list for inoculation by the state government, an action plan was set up to efficiently carry out the process. District Labour Officer P A Firoz said the remaining labourers would also be vaccinated as per the availability of doses.
As of Saturday, July 31, 550 migrants labourers were vaccinated at the centres set up in Angamaly, Perumbavoor, and Muvattupuzha. In June, the Kerala government initiated the mission to vaccinate migrant labourers. In April, the state's Labour Department said that the migrant community in Kerala would be vaccinated for free.
Other Measures Taken To Protect Migrant Workers
The state has been doing its part to help the migrant labourers. In April, the state set up multilingual call centres and opened control rooms to help migrant workers. In May, the government announced that will provide free food kits to all families and migrant labourers in the state through ration shops from May 15.
In January, a study conducted by Centre for Policy and Development Studies, found that except for around 4.5 lakh migrant labourers, the rest stayed back in the state after the coronavirus outbreak last year. C. Rajeev, director of the organisation, who led the study said, "A majority of the migrant laborers stayed back in the state mostly owing to the care and attention provided by their employers, several of them providing them home, shelter, food and even money for their medical and other expenses."
Rise In COVID Cases
The state has been witnessing a surge in COVID infections of late. The state has been reporting more than 20,000 fresh COVID cases over the last few weeks, the highest by any state in the country.
The state's Health Minister Veena George on Saturday, July 31, asked people to avoid crowds and if possible, even events, celebrations during Onam festival. She also urged people not to visit relatives to reduce the risk of COVID infection.