Seal borders to stop migrants, States told

Seal borders to stop migrants, States toldMigrants leave to their native places during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Mathura on Sunday

3 more test +ve in Maha, total 196; 40-yr-old woman dies

New Delhi: The Centre on Sunday asked State governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal State and district borders to stop movements of migrant workers during lockdown, officials said.

During a video conference with chief secretaries and DGPs, cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba and Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla asked them to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways as the lockdown continues.

"There has been movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country. Directions were issued that district and state borders should be effectively sealed," a government official said.

States were directed to ensure there is no movement of people across cities or on highways. Only movement of goods should be allowed.

District Magistrates and SPs should be made personally responsible for implementation of these directions, the official said. Adequate arrangements for food and shelter of poor and needy people including migrant labourers be made at the place of their work, the official said. Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday assured that his government will take care of all migrant labourers and provide them basic necessities like food and water.

The 'Shiv Bhojan' scheme offering meal at Rs 10 will now be available at Rs 5 from April 1, he said in a webcast. Thackeray said the state has already set up 163 centres across the state to provide food and water to the migrant labourers.

"The state will protect them and provide food, but they should not leave their place. I understand that they are anxious but they should not leave. They should avoid increasing the risk of infection, he said.

With three more persons testing positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra, the number of such patients in the state has gone up to 196, state health minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday.

However, he did not specify the places where these three new patients belong to.

Meanwjile, the test reports of a 40-year-old woman who died in Mumbai on Saturday have come out positive for coronavirus, taking the death toll of COVID-19 patients in Maharashtra to seven, a civic official said on Sunday. The woman was admitted to a civic hospital in Mumbai on Saturday after she complained of severe respiratory distress, the official said.

"She died on Saturday and her sample was sent for testing. The report came out positive for coronavirus. She is the seventh person who died of COVID-19 in the state," the official said. "The woman was complaining of breathlessness and chest pain since last three-four days. She was also suffering from hypertension," the official added.

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