14 Days Quarantine for Lockdown violators
NEW DELHI: Amid fear of community transmission of Coronavirus due to mass exodus of migrant workers, the Centre said on Sunday that all those who have travelled during the lockdown period would be put under mandatory 14-day quarantine at government facilities.
In an order issued on Sunday, the home ministry said, "The migrant people, who have moved out to reach their home states/ home towns, must be kept in the nearest shelter by the respective State/Union Territory government quarantine facilities after proper screening for a minimum period of 14 days as per standard health protocol".
Aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19, the government also directed all states and union territories to seal their borders and ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways as the lockdown continues. Only the movement of goods should be allowed.
The states have been directed to strictly follow the lockdown directives issued by the MHA. In the official statement, the government said District Magistrates and SPs should be made personally responsible for the implementation of these directions. In case of non-compliance, necessary actions would be initiated against them.
The government has also asked the chiefs of police and civil administrations of all states to make adequate arrangements for food and shelter for the poor and needy people, including migrant labourers.
The Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and other home ministry officials are in constant touch with the State chief secretaries and the DGPs.
Video conferences were held by the Cabinet Secretary and the Home secretary on Saturday evening as well as Sunday morning with the chief secretaries and the DGPs.
"It was noted that, by and large, there has been effective implementation of the lockdown guidelines across all States and UTs. Essential supplies have also been maintained. Situation is being monitored round the clock and necessary measures are being taken as required," the statement said.
States have been also asked to ensure timely payment of wages to labourers at their place of work during the period of lockdown without any cut.
House rent should not be demanded from the labourers for this period. Action should be taken against those who are asking labourers or students to vacate the premises, the statement said.
Detailed instructions on monitoring of such persons during quarantine have been issued to the states. It was impressed upon all the states that three
weeks of strict enforcement is essential to contain the spread of coronavirus. This is in the interest of everyone, the statement said.
A large number of migrant workers have left their workplaces in different parts of the country in last few days and walking down to their native places, hundreds of kilometres away facing hardships on the way.
The migrant workers have no option but to walk as there is no transport available after the announcement of the nationwide lockdown by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday in a bid to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Seeing their plight, some state governments have made arrangements for their transport, accommodation and food of late. Extending its support to deal with a national crisis, the Indian Railways has operated around 1.25 lakh wagons in the last 5 days for the transportation of essential commodities, such as food grains, sugar, salt, coal, petroleum, etc.
Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set up a dedicated fund - PM CARES- for COVID-19 through which philanthropists and people of the country can extend their support towards this effort.