Picking up on Supreme Court's recent order regarding the welfare of stranded migrant labourers, the Centre has now issued a notice directing all the Chief Secretaries of states to ensure trained counsellors and community group leaders belonging to all faiths are positioned in migrant shelter homes. The 21-day pan India lockdown has been the hardest on daily wage earners and has led to a humanitarian crisis with thousands stranded across India without food or lodging facilities.
Many state governments have come forward to arrange basic amenities for the daily wage earners including converting places like schools into shelter homes for them. However, the SC and the Centre have observed that migrant workers can be they are prone to social, psychological and emotional trauma in lockdown situations.
Following up on this the Supreme Court had directed that apart from ensuring adequate medical facilities, proper arrangements for food, clean drinking water, and sanitation, anxiety and fear of the migrants should also be addressed or allayed. "Trained counsellors and/or community group leaders belonging to all faiths should visit the camps/ shelter homes and deal with any consternation that the migrants might be going through," read the MHA's letter added.
"Anxiety and fear of the migrats should be understood by the police and other authorities and that they should deal with the migrants in a humane manner," added the letter.
Currently, there are 9.152 confirmed novel coronavirus cases in India out of which 308 individuals have passed away. States such as Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Odisha, Punjab and Telangana have already extended the lockdown till April 30. Addressing a press briefing, ICMR's Dr.Manoj Murhekar stated that the testing facilities have been increased to 219 centres which include 151 and 68 labs in government and private labs respectively. Moreover, 15,747 samples have been tested in the last five days on average. On the other hand, 584 samples have tested positive for COVID-19 on average. Dr.Murhekar also revealed that more than 40 vaccines are under development.