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India allows conditional movement of migrant workers

Coronavirus lockdown has left millions of poor Indians stranded far away from home, with no jobs or money

Shuriah Niazi   | 29.04.2020
India allows conditional movement of migrant workers

NEW DELHI, India

India on Wednesday allowed conditional movement of migrant workers, students and tourists stranded during the coronavirus lockdown.

In a notification, the Ministry of Home Affairs asked all states to designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for receiving and sending such stranded persons.

According to the official statement, the movement of these individuals will be possible by road only. “They would be allowed to move between one State/ UT(Union territory) to another State/ UT, after the states concerned consult each other and mutually agree,” it said.

Upon arrival, the communique added, they would be assessed by local authorities and placed in home quarantine if the condition does not require hospitalization. "They would be kept under watch with periodic health check-ups,” the order said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a 21-day lockdown till April 14, which was later extended until May 3.

Millions of poor Indians migrate from villages to cities in search of livelihood. The curfew has left them stranded far away from home, with no jobs or money.

Meanwhile, in a meeting with the premier earlier this week, chief ministers of at least six states pitched for another extension in the nationwide restrictions.

India has thus far confirmed 31,787 COVID-19 cases, along with 1,008 virus-linked deaths and 7,796 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins University.

A total of 770,764 tests have been conducted in the country of more than 1.3 billion people as of Wednesday, said the Indian Council of Medical Research.

*Writing by Riyaz Khaliq

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