Coronavirus outbreak: Migrant labourers in Kerala defy lockdown; demand to return to native villages

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Published: March 29, 2020 4:53 PM

Coronavirus: This protest comes at a time when migrant workers all over the country have been coming out in large numbers to either walk all the way to their native villages or to demand the authorities to arrange for their return.

coronavirus, coronavirus in India, coronavirus impact in India, coronavirus lockdown, coronavirus India lockdown, coronavirus lockdown migrant labourers, coronavirus kerala migrant workersWorkers in Delhi have been demanding the local authorities to arrange for their return during the lockdown. (Image: PTI)

Coronavirus lockdown: Amid nation-wide lockdown, migrant labourers in Kerala’s Kottayam district on Sunday morning gathered in hundreds to demand the government to make arrangements for their return to their native villages, Onmanorama has reported. The gathering took place in Paippad’s town centre at 11:30 am. Meanwhile, the local authorities have been trying to pacify the migrants who are defying the lockdown, the report added.

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Meanwhile, the report cited Kerala Food and Civil Supplies Minister P Thilothaman as saying that the state government would take the requisite steps to resolve the issue, and that he was in touch with the local authorities. He further stated that the migrant labourers are being given basic facilities like food and accomodation by the district administrations. He also suggested that the mass gathering might have been organised, according to Onmanorama.

Moreover, the report stated, District Collector of Kottayam P K Sudheer Babu had talked to the protesting migrant labourers and assured them that they would get food and all other basic amenities till mid-April.

This protest comes at a time when migrant workers all over the country have been coming out in large numbers to either walk all the way to their native villages or to demand the authorities to arrange for their return. These workers, especially in places like Delhi and Mumbai, have been demanding the local authorities as well as their native states to arrange for their return during the lockdown.

The UP government, taking cognizance of the issue, assured the workers of the state that it would run buses to Mumbai and Delhi so that they could return home.

The country was placed under a 21-day lockdown after an announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Even as the number of cases in the country has exceeded the 900 mark, the Union Government has said that India has not yet reached the stage of community transmission and the lockdown is a measure to prevent the country from tipping into stage 3 of the global pandemic.

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