Migrants are less familiar in their new environment in which they temporarily live. They are prone to various social, psychological and emotional trauma in such situations, emanating from fear of neglect by the local community and concerns about wellbeing and safety of their families waiting in their native places.
Migrants are forced to leave their native places in search of better opportunities and earnings, sometimes leaving behind their families. In many instances, the families in native places depend partially or entirely on the money sent by the migrant earning members of the family.
During an outbreak of communicable diseases, such a COVID-19, and the restrictions imposed on routine activities as part of social distancing norms to prevent the spread of the disease, scores of migrant workers tend to move back to their native places.
During the prevailing COVID pandemic also, many migrant workers used all possible means to reach their destinations.
Many of them are however stuck at borders, including state, district and at national border areas.
These are the most marginalized sections of the society who are dependent on daily wages for their living, and in times of such distress need sympathy and understanding of the society.
Immediate concerns faced by such migrant workers relate to food, shelter, healthcare, fear of getting infected or spreading the infection, loss of wages, concerns about the family, anxiety and fear.
Sometimes, they also face harassment and negative reactions of the local community.
All this calls for strong social protection.
As an immediate response, measures to be taken should include, ensuring community shelters and community kitchens, making other relief material available, emphasising on the need for social distancing, identification of suspected cases of infection and adherence to protocols for management of such cases, putting up mechanisms to enable them to reach to the family members through telephone, video calls etc. and ensuring their physical safety.
Migrant workers faced with the situation of spending a few days in temporary shelters, which may be quarantine centres, while trying to reach to their native places, are filled with anxieties and fears stemming from various concerns, and are in need of psycho-social support.
As part of such support, the following measures can be adopted :
- Treat everyone migrant worker with dignity, respect, empathy and compassion
- Listen to their concerns patiently and understand their problems
- Recognise specific and varied needs for each person/family. There is no generalisation.
- Help them to acknowledge that this is an unusual situation of uncertainty and reassure them that the situation is transient and not going to last long. Normal life is going to resume soon.
- Be prepared with all the information about possible sources of help. Inform them about the support being extended by Central Government, State Governments/ NGOs/ health care systems etc.
- Emphasise on the importance of their staying in their present location and how mass movement could greatly and adversely affect all efforts to contain the virus.
- Make them realise their importance in the community and appreciate their contributions to society.
- Remind them that they have made their place with their own efforts, acquired the trust of their employer, sent remittances to their families and therefore deserve all respect.
- Reassure that even if their employer fails them, local administration and charitable institutions would extend all possible help.
- Out of desperation, many may react in a manner which may appear insulting. Try to understand their issues and be patient.
- If somebody is afraid of getting affected, tell them that the condition is curable, and that most recover from it.
- Remind them that it is safer for their families if they themselves stay away from them.
- Instead of reflecting any mercy, seek their support in the spirit of winning over the situation together.
COVID-19: Want To Enter Goa? Produce A ‘Coronavirus Negative’ Certificate
ICMR-approved Covid-19 negative certificate issued within 48 hours prior to arrival now required.
PANAJI (Goa): Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant announced on May 24 that only those who will bring an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved COVID-19 negative certificate will be allowed to enter the state and go to their homes. The certificate must have been issued within 48 hours prior to the arrival.
— Dr. Pramod Sawant (@DrPramodPSawant) May 24, 2020
“We have decided that whoever wants to come to Goa if they bring an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved Covid-19 negative certificate issued within 48 hours prior of arrival, they will be allowed to go to their homes,” Dr Sawant said at a press conference here.
“Around 4,000 more people will come to Goa tomorrow, by air, railway and road passengers will come. Goans have made arrangements for their stay. No one is going to stay in the hotel,” he said.
Goa Chief Minister also mentioned that it is the only state that has conducted 13,000 COVID-19 tests on all the people who have entered the borders.
He added that the Goa model has been followed by the other states as well.
Govt issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOP):
Goa government released a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for all the domestic passengers who will be arriving by rail, air, or road to the state.
• Thermal Screening to be done at the entry point.
• Those who will be found symptomatic will be mandatorily tested and quarantined.
• Those who will be found asymptomatic will be given with the following options and one of which the passenger must select on the self-declaration form- (i) COVID-19 certificate must be produced issued by ICMR within the 48 hours prior to the date of arrival. (ii) Get the test done by giving swabs at the collection centre and paying Rs. 2000 and maintaining self -isolation until the results come.
• If there has been an international travel history, the person has to pay Rs. 2000. They will be mandatorily tested and quarantined until the test results are declared.
• People who do not have a place of residence in Goa must avoid coming, as no hotels and guesthouses have been functioning for the services, as per the guidelines released by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
• The protocols existing for stranded Indians coming either by air or sea will be as per the MHA’s guidelines.
Removal of Voluntary Quarantine option from SOP:
On May 27, Goa CM informed that the option of the voluntary home quarantine for a period of 14 days will not be available for the passengers arriving in the state.
The voluntary quarantine for 14 days was earlier available as one of the options in the self-declaration form for those who have been found asymptomatic. However, the previous conditions like carrying COVID-19 negative certificate or getting tested after arriving in Goa will remain unchanged.
COVID-19: No Permission To Open Any Educational Institutions Across Country, Says MHA
All educational institutions have been shut since mid-March when the nationwide lockdown started.
NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G. Kishan Reddy today said that the Ministry has not granted permission to open any educational institutions across the country.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has granted no permission to open any educational institutions across the country.
Any news stating otherwise is fake and shall not be trusted.
For all official updates, follow @PIBHomeAffairs/@PIBFactCheck/@COVIDNewsByMIB or any other govt handles. pic.twitter.com/uyEf7s7WD7
— G Kishan Reddy (@kishanreddybjp) May 27, 2020
Many media reports earlier said that the schools and colleges have been granted permission to reopen but on May 26 the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, MHA clarified that there has been no decision yet on the opening of schools and colleges and all educational institutions across the country are still prohibited to be opened.
All educational institutions have been shut since mid-March — some of them from March 25 when the nationwide lockdown started — to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
The nationwide lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to combat the pandemic.
It was first extended till May 3 and again till May 17. The lockdown has now been extended till May 31.
The CBSE Board has announced the CBSE Board Exam dates this month for the remaining exams. The students of classes other than 10th and 12th have been asked by CBSE to be promoted to the next class by the schools based on an internal assessment conducted.
COVID-19: WHO Warns Of ‘Second Peak’ In Countries Where Coronavirus Is Declining
Outbreaks could come back later this year in places where the first wave has subsided.
GENEVA (Switzerland): The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that countries seeing a decline in COVID-19 infections could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak.
During a media briefing yesterday, Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme said that we are right in the middle of the first wave, globally and are still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up.
He added that epidemics often come in waves, which means that outbreaks could come back later this year in places where the first wave has subsided.
He added that there is also a chance that infection rates could rise once again more quickly if measures to halt the first wave were lifted too soon. Ryan warned that a second peak or wave could come during the normal influenza season, “which will greatly complicate things for disease control.
He said that countries in Europe and North America should continue to put in place the public health and social measures, the surveillance measures, the testing measures and a comprehensive strategy to ensure that we continue on a downwards trajectory and we don’t have an immediate second peak.
Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO infectious disease epidemiologist, said that a hallmark of coronaviruses is its ability to amplify in certain settings, its ability to cause transmission – or super spreading events.
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