Police checked identity of 5000 migrant workers in Karnataka. Image credit: The New Indian Express
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The Centre has asked all states and union territories to provide shelter and food to homeless people, who are facing difficult situation due to nationwide lockdown, which has been declared to contain coronavirus.

The Ministry of Home Affairs in an advisory on Saturday urged all states and Union Territories (UTs) to take immediate relief measures to provide temporary accommodation, food, clothing, medical care etc, to homeless people, including migrant workers stranded due to the lockdown.

On Friday, the Centre issued an advisory directing all states and UTs to take immediate steps to provide adequate support, including food and shelter to them.

This advisory was modified to include clothing and medical care, which culminates into temporary rehabilitation until the public health crisis settles.

Joint Secretary Sanjeev Kumar Jindal in a letter, to states and UTs, said the relief measures should be applicable to homeless people, including migrant labourers, stranded due to lockdown measures and shelter in relief camps and other places providing them food, “for the containment of the spread of COVID-19 virus in the country.”

The three-week nationwide lockdown, which entered its fourth day on Saturday, has left several thousand daily wagers without jobs and reduced their means of sustenance. Reports of workers choosing to travel on foot to their villages have emerged from many parts of the country, as public transport has also been shut down for the period of the nationwide lockdown.

The earlier advisory issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla urged to take steps to help migrant agricultural labourers, industrial workers and other unorganized sector workers during the 21-day nationwide COVID-19 lockdown to stop their migration.

According to the home ministry officials, authorities concerned have been asked to maintain the uninterrupted supply of essential commodities. And, all precautions and social distancing measures should be duly adopted while involved in such measures, said an official.

Similarly, states and UTs have been advised to take steps to ensure that students, working women from other states are also allowed to continue in their existing accommodation.

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