In an apparent effort to stop the movement of migrant workers from Delhi, Maharashtra and other parts of India to their villages due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 to curb the spread of coronavirus, the Centre on Sunday (March 29) directed all the state governments to enforce the lockdown strictly and seal the borders.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba told the states that the migrant workers who are already heading towards their villages must be placed under government-run quarantine facilities for 14 days in order to fight coronavirus COVID-19.
“District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police would be held personally responsible for enforcement of directions issued to them under the Disaster Management Act,” a central government statement said.
Cabinet Secretary Gauba passed the order after holding a meeting with top bureaucrats of states. The statement issued by the Centre sends a clear message that the Centre wants the District Magistrates and Superindentent of Police to pull their socks up to place the migrant workers in mandatory quarantine facilities. “Detailed instructions on monitoring of such persons during quarantine have been issued to states,” the statement said.
Earlier on Sunday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday appealed to migrant workers who are leaving Delhi for their native villages due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by PM Modi.
In his appeal posted on Twitter, CM Kejriwal has assured the migrant workers that his government will arrange food and shelter for all of them and requested them to stay where they are and not head back to their villages because it could lead to transmission of the coronavirus COVID-19 to villages in various parts of the country.
The number of deaths due to coronavirus COVID-19 in India jumped to 25 on Sunday (March 29), according to Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The total number of coronavirus cases in India climbed to 979 on Sunday. This includes 86 recovered/discharged and 25 deaths.