The head of UN migration agency, IOM reportedly said on May 7 that thousands of migrants have been stranded all over the world where they face a high risk of coronavirus infection. The director-general of IOM, António Vitorino reportedly warned that in the future even more health-related travel restrictions might discriminate disproportionately against the migrant workers. He added that a lot of countries in the world have proper thermal screening checks to identify the health of migrant workers and said that he believes that there will be increased demands in health control for regular migrants.
Vitorino reportedly added that travel restrictions have been put into effect to curb the spread of coronavirus. He also said that this pandemic had left people helpless than ever and unable to work to support themselves. He reportedly said there are thousands of stranded migrants all over the world because of the sealing of the borders and travel restrictions that have been put in place.
He added that they are stuck in large groups near the border areas in very difficult conditions without access to minimal care. He reportedly said that they have requested the governments to allow the humanitarian workers and the health workers to have access to the migrants and help them.
According to the reports, the IOM's immediate priorities for the migrants include to make sure that they have access to health care and other basic social welfare assistance in their host country. The main concern of the agency is to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease in the more than 1,100 camps it has all across the world.
The United Nations refugee agency has urged people to not discriminate against any community since the novel coronavirus does not discriminate. A spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that COVID-19 is not only a test of our healthcare systems and mechanisms for responding to infectious disease but also of our ability to work together as a community of nations in the face of a common challenge.
UNHCR spokesperson Cecile Pouilly, in a video posted on refugee agency’s official Twitter account, said tourists, entrepreneurs and ministers have been infected by the pandemic, suggesting that the novel coronavirus does not discriminate and neither should you. Pouilly cautioned that refugees could become targets of discrimination since scapegoats are never far away when fear and uncertainty kick in.