Govt allows movement of stranded people with conditions

NEW DELHI, Apr 29: Migrant workers, tourists, students and other people stranded in different parts of the country were on Wednesday allowed to move to their respective destinations with certain conditions, giving a big relief to the distressed people.
In an order, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said buses shall be used for transport of such groups of stranded people and these vehicles will be sanitised and will have to follow safe social distancing norms in seating.
The home ministry order, however, did not specify whether a person or a family can travel in a private vehicle, and if allowed, under what conditions.
“Due to lockdown, migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons are stranded at different places. They would be allowed to move,” he said in an order issued to all states and union territories.
Listing the conditions, the ministry said all states and union territories should designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for receiving and sending such stranded persons.
The nodal authorities shall also register the stranded persons within their states and union territories, it said.
In case a group of stranded persons wish to move between one state and union territory and another state and union territory, the sending and receiving states may consult each other and mutually agree to the movement by road.
The moving persons would be screened and those found asymptomatic would be allowed to proceed, according to the Home Ministry.
The states and union territories falling on the bus transit route will allow the passage of such persons to the receiving states and union territories, it said.
On arrival at their destination, they would be assessed by the local health authorities, and kept in home quarantine, unless the assessment requires keeping the persons in institutional quarantine, the order said.
They would be kept under watch with periodic health check-ups, it said.
All those people who avail the opportunity will be encouraged to use ‘Aarogya Setu’ app through which their health status can be monitored and tracked.
The union home secretary issued the order in his capacity as the chairperson of the national executive committee under the Disaster Management Act.
The home ministry also said the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on home quarantine should be followed by the authorities concerned.
The decision of the central government will be a big relief to several lakh migrant workers, students, tourists and other people who are stranded in different parts of the country.
Several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Punjab, Assam, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, have brought back thousands of their students and tourists stuck in different parts of the country by bus. However, most of the migrant workers, tourists and other people continue to be stuck in their places of work or shelter homes.
The lockdown was first announced by the prime minister on 24 March in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic. It was further extended till 3 May. (PTI)