Forcing migrants to stay back in cities during lockdown worsened spread of coronavirus, study shows -Pavitra Mohan & Arpita Amin
A doctor looks at the pattern of Covid-19 cases in Rajasthan.
On March 25, India went into a nationwide lockdown that had been imposed with only four hours notice. The clampdown on travel resulted in millions of migrant workers being trapped in cities that, even at best of times, are hostile to their needs.
Faced with starvation and separation from families, lakhs of workers started walking or cycling hundreds of kilometres back home. Hundreds perished on the way – of exhaustion, run over by vehicles or after they were assaulted by the police. Many who made it home states faced police action and were stigmatised by local authorities and communities.
The restrictions on movement were justified on the grounds that this was necessary to limit the spread of the epidemic. We examine this assumption and, using a case study of Rajasthan and a Primary Health Centre area within it, argue that the reverse holds true: holding migrants back in cities was actually responsible for the spread of the coronavirus in rural areas.
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Scroll.in, 3 July, 2020, https://scroll.in/article/966123/forcing-migrants-to-stay-back-in-cities-during-lockdown-worsened-spread-of-coronavirus-study-shows?fbclid=IwAR0NAP2Y-tDJt75bg-IIfxfvgXswnehC-QXsU4r49JGhrlROXtSDjTxEuX0