Corona cases now emerging in Indian rural areas, as migrants move home

Amid the nationwide lockdown owing to the fast-spreading COVID-19 outbreak, homeless and daily wage workers, who migrate to big cities from their home towns in search of jobs, are combating hunger for survival. The pandemic has now created a panic situation across the nation.

Ever since the lockdown was announced, the migrants have been the hardest hit. They have had to struggle to get back to their homes. Several states in the country have witnessed a massive surge in the number of coronavirus cases after millions of migrant workers returned to their native states. It has been learnt that migrant workers are having to return to their villages as they have lost their jobs due to shutdown. They can no longer survive without food in the city as many factories have been shut down.

Shramik Special Trains were pressed into service. Following which, thousands of migrant labourers are returning to their villages by special trains.

States like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have reported a spike in coronavirus cases ever since migrant workers started returning to their native states. With this, another primary concern is the rise in COVID infection in rural belts and hinterlands.

Bihar government has announced that it will shut its quarantine centres by June 15 as the number of migrants has increased in recent times. Now, migrants reaching the state will be told to home quarantine due to a shortage of space in the hospital. 

According to a report by India Today, more than 14 lakh migrants have been registered who came from other states. However, the number has come down after nine lakh people completed their 14-day institutional quarantine. Currently, a little over six lakh migrants are living in the quarantine centres.

In Bihar alone, the confirmed positive cases of coronavirus have surpassed 4,000 so far, while at least 25 people have died in the state from the infection. Thankfully, 2,077 patients have recovered from the deadly disease.

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.