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Migrant crisis: buses head to rural India, trigger Covid-19 fears

Mar 28, 2020 22:56 IST

These scenes at the Anand Vihar Bus Stand in the national capital New Delhi. With India locked down over the coronavirus and no way to earn money, migrants face a grim choice: either walk home or die hungry. The govt has now offered them buses to leave the capital. The 21-day lockdown has sparked an exodus from major cities. Thousands are walking long distances back to their home villages after all transport was stopped except for essential services as authorities struggle to contain the outbreak. There are usually around 100 million unskilled or semi-skilled migrant workers in India, according to a government survey for 2016-17 -- around a fifth of the country's workforce. These congregations like the one at Anand Vihar are a setback for the government which is focusing on social distancing as a major deterrent against the deadly virus. 

National