In an act of recklessness or paranoia, or both, some 400 train passengers who arrived at a railway station in Assam today forced their way out of it premises apparently to avoid being tested for COVID-19.
Mostly migrant workers, including women and children, they had travelled by the Kanyakumari-Dibrugarh Vivek Express that had set off from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and traversed Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal over five days.
Assam has made Covid testing mandatory on arrival for all train passengers.
The incident took place at the Jagi Road station, around 60 kilometres from Guwahati. A video of the event, now doing the rounds on social media, shows the passengers rushing en-masse out of the railway facility even as the police and railway officials look on.
Authorities could hold back only a handful of those who had disembarked at Jagi Road.
The incident seemed like a replay of a similar one that was reported in Bihar last month. Dozens of people, some with young children, had back then rushed out of a railway station in Buxar fearing Covid testing.
Assam yesterday reported nearly 6,000 fresh Covid cases, taking its overall figure of infections to over 3.65 lakh. It also registered nearly 80 deaths related to the pandemic putting the state's overall fatalities at 2,667.