Bhanjanagar: A total of 16,576 people, mostly migrant labourers, from Surat returned to Ganjam.
Sources said, a majority of Surat returnees reached the district in 298 buses between April 29 and May 8. Similarly, some returned in cars, riding bikes and bicycles. As many as ten cars, three bikes and one bicycle entered the district by Monday morning.
They all entered the district through Durgaparasad Road in Bhanjanagar block and Tarasingh Road in Jagannathprasad block.
Apart from Surat, hundreds reached the district from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and West Bengal. A total of 160 Maharashtra returnees arrived in Titlagarh by train and from there they travelled to Ganjam by buses Sunday night.
Besides this, there are some who returned in cars and bicycles and are yet to get them registered, it was learnt.
All these returnees are put up in various quarantine centres. In Bhanjanagar sub-division alone, 14,888 returnees are staying in 383 such centres in eight blocks and five notified area councils (NACs).
Since more returnees are expected in coming days, sources said the administration is setting up more quarantine centres.
People in Ganjam, which has the highest number of cases in the state, are in a state of panic. Meanwhile, the district administration and elected leaders are appealing to people, saying there is no need to panic since almost all of the positive cases have emerged from quarantine centres.
Forest and Environment Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha recently reviewed district’s situation through video conferencing. He urged people to stay abreast of the pandemic disease, maintain social distancing, use masks and not to go near any quarantine centres.