In the thick of the global Coronavirus outbreak, sex workers in Maharashtra's Nashik are facing a financial crisis due to the 3-week lockdown proposed by the government. Amid the health crisis, the sex workers sought help from the government, stating that why should they be left out from gaining fiscal support. The number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases in the country climbed to 3,374 on Sunday while the death toll rose to 77, according to Union Health Ministry's recent data.
"If all citizens of the country are getting help from govt why we should be left behind. The government should help us too," ANI quoted a sex worker from Nashik's Bhadrakali saying. Maharashtra, by far, has been the worst-affected state with 635 Coronavirus cases. From Mumbai's Kamathipura to Pune's Budhwar Peth, Red Light areas across the country felt an impact on their business.
Maharashtra: Sex workers residing in Nashik’s Bhadrakali are facing a financial crisis due to lockdown, in the wake of #coronavirus outbreak. They say, "If all citizens of the country are getting help from govt why we should be left behind. Govt should help us too." pic.twitter.com/Dq0hUq2owR— ANI (@ANI) April 5, 2020
The ongoing pandemic roped in despair for thousands of sex workers across the country, with the prostitution business in a slump due to the lockdown. Kolkata's, that witnesses a footfall of almost 30,000 people on a daily average, ran out of business amid the lockdown. West Bengal Minister Shashi Panja distributed essential necessities in Kolkata's Sonagachi, Asia's largest red-light area in the city. "There are no customers and the workers have nothing to eat. Around 1500 sex workers have been benefited by the state government. Not only this, but we will also make them aware of coronavirus. We will make them understand what to do or what not to do. We will make them understand to follow social distancing," the TMC leader said.
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday notified that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was considering a phase-wise relaxation post the lockdown on April 14. The Prime Minister had announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown across the country till April 14 to restrict the transmission of Coronavirus. However, Tope added that the relaxation will only be possible if the people cooperate and maintain discipline.
The Health Ministry said the testing capacity has been ramped up significantly to over 10,000 tests per day to detect the deadly coronavirus infection, as it emphasised on continuous compliance to lockdown and social distancing measures, along with personal and environmental hygiene, to win this "daily battle".