A Delhi constable provides hand sanitiser to a child at a slum area in Rangpuri on Thursday. (Express photo/Amit Mehra)
Amid reports of a large number of migrants and labourers being hit by the 21-day nationwide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs Friday issued an advisory to states and Union Territories (UTs) asking them to prevent exodus of migrant agriculture labourers, industrial workers and unorganised sector employees from their workplaces to hometowns
The home ministry has also advised the states and UTs to ensure that hotels, rented accommodations, hostels etc., continue to remain functional and delivery of essential items is streamlined, so that students, working women hostel inmates etc., are allowed to continue in existing facilities observing precautions.
"The home ministry has issued an advisory to States/UTs to prevent mass exodus of migrant agricultural labourers, industrial workers and unorganised sector workers, so as to prevent the spread of COVID19," PTI quoted an official spokesperson as saying.
They have also been asked to make these vulnerable groups aware of measures taken by the government, including provision of free food grains and other essential items through Public Distribution System (PDS), and streamline the distribution system.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled an economic package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore to help farmers, women, construction workers, senior citizens, widows and the disabled hit by the lockdown amid Covid-19.
Several state governments including Delhi, Maharashtra and Kerala are among those which have announced measures — including advance pension payments, free food, use of worker welfare funds and minimum income transfers — to tackle the economic effects of the epidemic, which might be funded through higher borrowings.
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