Amid the massive migrant exodus in North India due to the COVID-19 lockdown, Bihar Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha on Saturday revealed that migrant workers coming back from neighbouring states to Bihar will be kept in quarantine for 14 days. As the three-week lockdown began in the country, migrant workers, especially from Bihar, UP and West Bengal, in the absence of transport facilities, started a home-bound walk. This came despite the Government of India and the state government's numerous advice to avoid travel and stay put at the current location.
"Migrant workers coming back from neighbouring states to Bihar will be kept in quarantine in relief centres at state borders, where they will be provided food and other essential amenities. They will be kept here for 14 days," Jha said to news agency ANI.
Soon after, there was another Coronavirus health scare after the UP and Delhi governments arranged buses to send migrant families home, leading to large crowds of people at Delhi's Anand Vihar Bus terminal, raising the risk of COVID 19 spread. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has urged the UP and Delhi Governments to not ship off migrants from Bihar during the health scare. He has also announced that his government will coordinate with other states and bear the expenses of migrant workers, who might have been stranded there owing to the three-week-long nationwide lockdown.
Speaking to Republic TV, Nitish Kumar said, "No buses should be allowed to carry any passenger from any state, else COVID-19 will spread and it will be a complete violation of lockdown. People should remain where they are and the respective state governments should make arrangements for their stay and food. Else people will congregate in large numbers to get back to their native place and create a law and order situation."