As India continues to be under lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19, the exodus of migrant workers from big cities continues unabated, lakhs of people desperate to return to their homes, after being left jobless and without shelter and food.

Now, as per the government’s press release, violators will be required to spend a minimum of 14 days in quarantine, and have also issued detailed instructions on monitoring of such persons during the quarantine.

Concerned over such movements that pose a risk of community spread, the Centre has asked state governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal all state and district borders, and urged those having already left to be quarantined for 14 days.

The order came in the wake of the central government facing flak for the massive exodus of migrants from cities, which has been triggered due to the absence of livelihood amid the lockdown.

Although the government urged the states to ensure students and migrants are properly provided amid the lockdown, thousands set off on foot for their hometowns, thereby raising concern over the efficacy of the step to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

Now, the government has issued fresh directions after a high-level meeting was conducted, chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Sunday. The meeting led to the conclusion that district and state borders should be effectively sealed and opened only for goods movement.

Although the total number of deaths in India is still low as compared to many other countries, there are widespread concerns, including among the experts, that the count might likely see a sudden spike and that social distancing is the only way to prevent community spread.

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