In India, 170 districts declared ‘hotspot’ zones; woe of migrant labourers continues | The Background

Saturday, October 24, 2020

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In India, 170 districts declared ‘hotspot’ zones; woe of migrant labourers continues

The Background:

Across the world the death toll has risen to 132,276. Number of confirmed cases stand at 2,023,663. United States have the maximum numbers of confirmed cases- 614,482. Number of people recovered from COVID-19 is 507,330. In India, total confirmed cases stand at 12,320 and the number death is 405. This data has been provided by Johns Hopkins and Medicine.

According to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare active cases stand at 12,073 and the death toll is 406.

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the national lockdown till May 3, the Ministry of Home affairs released a set of new guidelines for allowing the resumption of certain activities from April 20. The guidelines permit relaxations in several sectors, to be implemented at the discretion of State and district authorities, in areas that have not been identified as infection hotspots. Apart from rural industries, the guidelines permit construction of roads, irrigation projects, buildings, and industrial projects in rural areas. In urban areas, only in situ construction projects will be allowed. Among private, commercial establishments, courier services and e-commerce companies will be allowed to operate after April 20.

Meanwhile, to step up fight against the pandemic, all districts of the country will be classified into three categories- hotspot districts which report a large number of positive cases, non-hotspot districts which record a few coronavirus cases and green zones which have not reported fresh cases for some time. There are about 170 districts which have been declared hotspot zones in the country while 207 districts have been identified as potential hotspot zones. In West Bengal, four districts- Kolkata, Howrah, Purba Medinipur and North 24 Parganas have been declared as hotspot zones.

The woe of migrant workers continued. They are literally in a limbo. It has been reported that around 300 migrant workers have been struck in Maithan, Dhanbad. They had been quarantined there for 14 days. Now they are complaining of not getting food and water. When they complained about it, they were threatened to shoot down by the driver of an official of the quarantine centre. The migrant workers have contacted Bangla Sanskriti Mancha for help. The organisation has informed the Birbhum superintendent of police Shyam Singh about the plight of these people and has got assurance of getting help.

Some reports from around the country on stranded migrant workers.

US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, said he has instructed his administration to halt funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. At a White House news conference, Trump said the WHO had ”failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable.” He said the group had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the virus that likely led to a wider outbreak of the virus than otherwise would have occurred.

The United States contributes roughly 15% of the WHO’s total budget and is its biggest donor. In 2019, it gave the UN organisation more than $400 million. It must be noted that alongside President Trump, the right wing media ecosystem of the U.S. has taken square aim at the WHO for its handing of COVID-19, essentially accusing it of being a vassal organisation of China.

Tedros Adhamom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of The World Health Organizations replied

Cover photo: Migrant workers stranded in Surat, Gujarat. Via Twitter

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