In a frantic effort to stop the mass movement of migrant workers who are travelling to their villages across India, the BJP-led government at the Centre on Sunday asked state governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal all state and district borders. The migrant labourers will be put under 14-days quarantine at their destinations for ignoring the lockdown.
India on Sunday reported 25 deaths from the highly contagious disease Covid-19 while the total number of people infected climbed to 979. The Union health ministry said out of the 979 cases, 867 were active Covid-19 cases, 86 people have been cured or discharged and one had migrated. A day earlier, on Saturday, the number of positive Covid-19 cases had been 918. Here’s a look at the latest news on coronavirus in 10 points:
1. States were directed to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways and there should be strict implementation of the lockdown. Only the movement of goods will be allowed, the Centre said in a directive.
2. Those who have violated the lockdown and travelled during the period will be subject to a minimum of 14 days of quarantine in government quarantine facilities when they reach their destination, according to a government statement.
3. Top central government officials have asked chiefs of police and civil administrations of all states to make sufficient arrangements for food and shelter for the poor and homeless people, including migrant workers in the cities in which they work.
4. The total number of Covid-19 positive cases in Maharashtra climbed to 203 on Sunday with 2 new cases being reported from Nagpur, 1 from Pune, 3 from Mumbai, 1 from Buldhana, and 3 from Nagar, the Maharashtra government said in a statement.
5. On Sunday, a SpiceJet pilot who did not fly any international flight in March tested positive for the coronavirus. The last domestic flight that he operated was on March 21 from Chennai to Delhi and since then he had quarantined himself at home. The airline is now carrying out a contact tracing exercise to establish how many people he came in contact with.
6. The Centre on Saturday issued orders for the use of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) funds for the purpose of feeding the homeless as well as migrant workers. Sufficient funds are available with states, a government statement said.
7. States have also been told to ensure timely payment of wages to labourers at their places of work during the period of lockdown without any cuts.
8. The Centre has provided 10,000 coronavirus testing kits to West Bengal. Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are working together to fight the pandemic and this is the time to “avoid politics in conduct”.
9. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has once again appealed to migrant workers not to leave the national capital region. In a series of tweets in Hindi, he said, “I assure you that the Delhi government has made sufficient arrangements for your food and accommodation. For now, do not go to your villages in the country’s interest”.
10. In Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed all the district magistrates to trace over 1.5 lakh migrants who have returned to the state over the last few days and quarantine them in state-run camps.