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Migrant exodus under control, states to enforce lockdown: MHA

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) A day after its move to curb the movement of lakhs of migrant workers across states in an exodus prompted by a 21-day nationwide lockdown to mitigate COVID-19 spread, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday announced that the situation is under control and the states have been directed to “enforce” the norms.

The MHA said that all the states and Union Territory (UT) authorities have been directed to “enforce lockdown period” as well to sensitize their police personnel. “Situation regarding migrant workers is under control,” Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, said in a joint routine press conference held to share preparations in fight against coronavirus.

The ministry made the announcement while briefing media after it issued a guideline on Sunday under the Disaster Management Act to fix responsibility on district magistrates and senior superintendents of police to seal district and state borders while making arrangements for those on the roads to be housed in shelters besides also dissuading such workers from leaving their current place of stay.

The government measures taken on Sunday followed concerns as movement of lakhs of migrant workers from various cities to the hinterland continued which could lead to a problematic spread of COVID-19 in rural areas. The Home Ministry official also informed that 11 Empowered Groups have been constituted for comprehensive action to implement lockdown and other measures necessary to break the chain of transmission of the disease which has so far claimed 29 lives and over 1,000 confirmed cases in the country.

–IANS

rak/kr

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