Outrage in India as migrants sprayed with disinfectant to fight coronavirus

Published March 30, 2020
Migrant workers walk along a highway with their families as they return to their villages, during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of Covid-19, in Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of New Delhi, March 27. — Reuters
Migrant workers walk along a highway with their families as they return to their villages, during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of Covid-19, in Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of New Delhi, March 27. — Reuters

Indian health workers caused outrage on Monday by spraying a group of migrants with disinfectant, amid fears that a large scale movement of people from cities to the countryside risked spreading the coronavirus.

Footage showed a group of migrant workers sitting on a street in Bareilly, a district in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, as health officials in protective suits used hose pipes to douse them in disinfectant, prompting anger on social media.

Nitish Kumar, the top government official in the district, said health workers had been ordered to disinfect buses being used by the local authorities but in their zeal had also turned their hoses on migrant workers.

“I have asked for action to be taken against those responsible for this,” he said in a tweet.

India imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25, with thousands of labourers subsequently fleeing cities for their home villages after work and public transport vanished.

India has registered more than a thousand cases of the new coronavirus, of whom 29 have died, the health ministry said on Monday. Health officials say India is weeks away from a surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public healthcare system.

Opinion

Editorial

Road to perdition
Updated 01 Feb, 2023

Road to perdition

This is also the time of reckoning for those who sowed the seeds of a disastrous policy against militants.
Transport tragedies
01 Feb, 2023

Transport tragedies

TWO tragedies over the weekend illustrate the weak protocols governing the safety of transport in Pakistan. In fact,...
Disqualifying Jam Awais
01 Feb, 2023

Disqualifying Jam Awais

IT appears that there may be some kind of small punishment after all for PPP lawmaker Jam Awais, who was pardoned ...
Police Lines bombing
Updated 31 Jan, 2023

Police Lines bombing

Where the menace of terrorism is concerned, the government and opposition need to close ranks and put up a united front.
Oil price hike
31 Jan, 2023

Oil price hike

THE record single-day increase in petrol prices, preceded by massive currency depreciation, signifies the ...
Babar Azam’s award
31 Jan, 2023

Babar Azam’s award

BABAR Azam might not have lifted many trophies as Pakistan’s all-format captain in the last year but the star...