At least 505 tea garden labourers tested positive for COVID-19 in different tea gardens in Assam. The Zaloni tea estate in Dibrugarh and Dekorai tea estate in Biswanath reported the highest cases of COVID-19 with 133 and 52 respectively.
With the reported cases of COVID-19 among the tea garden labourers and staff, three tea gardens in Dibrugarh, Golaghat and Biswanath districts have been shut down declaring the tea estates as containment zone.
However, the administrations are deeply worried about the increasing cases of COVID-19 as the labourers are traditionally anemic and have less immunity boosting capacity. The anemic and less immunity of the labourers would create a harrowing situation as there are no health care facilities in the tea garden areas.
The worst is that the tea community is less educated and live in cramped condition and infection would be extremely easy amongst them and in less than a week whole of garden would be contaminated.
Hence the authorities are taking no chance declaring the tea estates as containment zone.
Dr Nabajyoti Gogoi, joint director (in-charge), health services, Dibrugarh, said that as most cases are asymptomatic they have been quarantined or in home isolation depending on their condition.
“A sero survey in several tea gardens in our district last year found that most people were not infected during the first wave,” said Dr Gogoi.
“This year, when cases started rising in the state, we conducted tests in these places again and found positive cases. If the test drive hadn’t been conducted, most patients, who are asymptomatic, would have gone unnoticed and continued to spread the virus,” he added.