New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed an interim order by the Orissa High Court, which stated that only those natives of the state, who test negative for coronavirus, will be allowed to return to the state. The development came after the Centre, today, in its petition against the High Court’s order, called it ‘unworkable’ and ‘passed without consultation.’ Also Read - Odisha CM Grants Odia Migrants Returning From Gujarat Permission to Travel Only by Train
In an interim order on Thursday, a two-judge bench of the Orissa High Court, comprising Justices S Panda and KR Mohapatra, had, notably, directed the state government to ensure that all its natives, returning from other states, be tested negative before being allowed to enter the state. Also Read - Two Days After Losing Daughter to Cancer, Odisha Woman Home Guard Resumes Covid-19 Duty
The order by the court had led to the Odisha government cancelling at least three trains bound to the state. This order, the Centre today informed the top court, ‘would make it difficult for the stranded workers to return to their native places.’ Also Read - Odisha Government Allows Plying of Buses With 50 Per Cent Seating in Green Zones
According to the state government, nearly 50,000 workers have returned to the state since May 3, the day the second phase of the national lockdown ‘ended.’
The lockdown, which began on March 25, was initially scheduled to end on April 14 but was, on the day, extended till May 3, and on May 1, was extended for another two weeks, till May 17. This was also the day the Centre allowed states to run special trains to ferry migrants, two days after it permitted movement of stranded migrants to their native places in government buses.
The Odisha government expects at least five lakh of its natives to return to the state. The state’s COVID-19 count, which stood at 219 on Thursday night, reached 245 today after 26 more people tested positive for coronavirus.