The authorities are also trying to prevent workers from crossing the border. The Ministry of the Interior has called on all states to provide them with food and shelter so that they do not have to leave. “The last thing the government wants is for the virus to spread to the countryside,” a ministry spokesperson told Indian Express newspaper.
The Delhi government opens more than 500 food distribution centers throughout the city, where homeless people and stranded workers can eat three times a day. Additional shelters for the night will also be opened. But until now, crowds at reception and food distribution cannot be prevented, making it impossible to keep a sufficient distance.
Ninety people in twenty bunk beds
In a room above a school there are about twenty bunk beds. “Ninety women and children sleep here,” said local government supervisor Rajesh Gautam. “We don’t have space for a meter between the beds and mattresses. But we can’t send these poor people outside either. Then they’ll have the police on their roof, because they can’t be outside.”
Rajkumari sits on top of one of the bunk beds. Her husband is sleeping outside, in a tent with fifty other men. The couple arrived in Delhi last week looking for work. But on the day they arrived, the trains stopped running, and the nationwide lockdown was announced two days later.
“We couldn’t work and didn’t know where to go either. We roamed the streets for four days before we found this shelter. Here we get three meals a day. But the uncertainty is driving me crazy. How long will this take? “It would be good if the government arranges a bus for people like us so that we can return to our family.”
So far, 1024 people have been tested positive for the corona virus in India. 27 people died. According to the government, all cases are still traceable. People who have contracted the virus have been in areas of high contamination or have had contact with another patient, according to the government.
The lockdown is intended to prevent India from entering the next phase of exponential growth of untraceable infections. The healthcare system could not handle that. But many experts doubt the official figures, because testing is very limited.