Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray seeks guidelines from Centre on migrant workers

MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has demanded that the Centre issue guidelines by this month-end on sending the migrant workers to their native places in the wake of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.

Speaking to the central team led by additional secretary Manoj Joshi through video conference on Tuesday evening, Thackeray said his government has opened shelter camps for over six lakh migrant labourers and they are being looked after well.

But, these people want to go back to their native places and are also protesting some times, he pointed out.

“If the central government feels the coronavirus spread will be more from April 30 till May 15, it should consider if the stranded labourers can be sent back to their homes before that. If it is possible, guidelines in this regard should be issued,” Thackeray said.

The Centre should consider if the stranded labourers can be monitored “end-to-end” and quarantined after they reach their homes to ensure there is no spread of the coronavirus, Thackeray said, and urged the Union government to take a timely decision.

The chief minister said 80 per cent of the coronavirus patients in the state are asymptomatic and wondered what could be the reason for it.

He also expressed the need to study what steps are being taken in Dubai to contain the disease.

“We all know what is happening in the US, but need to study what steps are being taken in Dubai. The coronavirus entered Maharashtra through these two places,” he said.

Thackeray also reiterated the demand for more personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other medical equipment from the Centre.

He also sought the Centre’s guidance for construction of hospitals by the Army on war-footing, if needed.

Thackeray also sought relaxation of central government rules to provide food grains to those who don’t have a ration cards.

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