On Sunday, the Central Government directed the governments of all States and Union Territory administrations to seal their borders in order to restrict the movement of migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak.
States/UTs strict instructions to seal District and State borders; Center has issued detailed instructions to States regarding this: @MoHFW_INDIA Media briefing on current Novel #Coronavirus situation#CoronaUpdate #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/LnSMuZrNRO— PIB India 🇮🇳 #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) March 29, 2020
The official statement read, ” There has been a movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country. Directions were issued that district and state borders should be effectively sealed. It was noted that, by and large, there has been effective implementation of the lockdown guidelines across all States and UTs. Essential supplies have also been maintained. The situation is being monitored round the clock and necessary measures are being taken as required.”
The States have also been directed to restrict the movement of people across cities and on highways. Only the movement of goods and essential supplies are to be permitted. Migrant workers who have violated lockdown guidelines and travelled to other states are to be kept under quarantine for 14 days in government facilities.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla briefed the DGPs and Chief Secretaries to make adequate provisions for food and shelter for the migrant workers. Besides, the States had been directed to make timely payment of wages without any cut to the migrant workers at the place of their work. Strict action will be taken against those tenants asking labourers to vacate their premises.
On Saturday, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath issued directions to officials to keep roughly 1,00,000 people who had arrived in the state in the past three days under quarantine for 14 days. The Government has assured the migrant workers that all their daily needs including shelter and food would be taken care of by the State. Yogi Adityanath said, “No one in the state should remain hungry during the lockdown.”
Undertaking a similar initiative in Bihar, minister Sanjay Kumar Jha had said that the migrant workers would be kept under quarantine in relief centres located near the State border. Jha said that all essential amenities would be provided by the State Government.