New Delhi: Even as several in a group of pilgrims who returned to Punjab from Maharashtra’s Nanded tested positive for coronavirus, seven labourers from Uttar Pradesh, who returned to the state from Maharashtra, too, have tested positive for the infection. Also Read - Special Trains to Ferry Stranded Migrants, Students Amid COVID-19 Lockdown: Home Ministry

The labourers, who returned to Uttar Pradesh in government buses, via Jhansi, from the western state, tested positive in Basti, over 250 km away from state capital Lucknow. They were quarantined at a college earlier this week and were later shifted to a hospital. Also Read - Coronavirus in Karnataka: As Migrants Get Ready to Leave, Government Urges Them to Stay

The quarantine centre, meanwhile, is being sanitised and a drive has been launched to trace and isolate those who came in contact with the infected labourers. Also Read - Amid COVID-19 lockdown, First 'One-Off Special' Train Ferries Stranded Migrants From Telangana to Jharkhand | Watch

According to reports, this is the biggest cluster of workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to Uttar Pradesh.

Notably, the Centre, earlier this week, passed a directive, allowing migrant labourers and others, who are stranded in different parts of the country due to the nationwide lockdown, which has now been extended till May 17, to leave for their native states in specially arranged buses.

However, on Friday, hours before announcing the lockdown extension, it allowed states to run special trains to ferry migrants, after requests from various state governments in this regard.

Uttar Pradesh, which has a tally of nearly 2,400 COVID-19 positive cases, had announced its decision to bring back its workers  stranded in various states, even before the Centre’s announcement permitting interstate movements of migrants.