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Maharashtra urges Centre to send migrants home as lockdown extension looms large

The state has also asked the Central team to study the status of Covid-19 pandemic and patients in other countries

Tuesday April 21, 2020 11:41 PM, IANS

India Lockdown News

[All powerloom factories and sizing works are also shut in Malegaon due to the lockdown clamped to contain the spread of coronavirus. (Photo: Zohair M Safwan/ummid.com)]

Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday urged the Centre to frame guidelines by April-end to send home the migrants stuck in the state due to lockdown, amid indications of an extension in the restrictions.

Thackeray conveyed this in a video-conference chat with a 5-member Inter Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) which arrived in the state for an assessment of the Covid-19 management and the lockdown here.

While the state has made adequate arrangements for food and shelter of the 'guests' from other states, there have been occasions when the migrants have resorted to agitational methods, like the Bandra incident of April 14 which rattled the Centre and state.

"If the centre apprehends that the Covid-19 impact may worsen between April 30-May 15, then the government must consider running special trains to send the migrants back to their native states, for which guidelines must be formed by April-end. I have already raised this issue with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Thackeray said.

Apart from the IMCT team members, led by Additional Secretary, Food Processing Industries, Manoj Joshi, Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta, BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi and Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh also participated.

The CM urged that "end-to-end: precautions should be taken for migrants from the starting point till they reach their destinations and are sent to home quarantine to prevent further spread of Covid-19.

The state has also asked the Central team to study the status of Covid-19 pandemic and patients in other countries like the UAE and the US, since 80 per cent of the patients here are asymptomatic.

Maharashtra has demanded additional stocks of personal protective equipment like masks, gloves, sanitisers, coats and ventilators on a priority basis to ensure safety of the healthcare workers both from the government and private hospitals.

The central team visited the Worli Koliwada fishing village, Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai and other locations in Pune, besides holding discussions on a wide range of subjects pertaining to the pandemic management in the country's two worst-hit hotspots.

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