India's effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic has gone into disarray after thousands of migrant workers started flouting lockdown rules to head to their homes, fearing starvation following the imposition of a complete lockdown. The central government's directive comes at a time when several migrant workers, particularly in the capital city of Delhi, started moving on foot to reach their home state, after all transport services were stopped owing to a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Sars-Cov-2 (COVID-19 coronavirus). The government of Delhi has also started converting schools into night shelters for migrant workers. Delhi's chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, has also announced that ration shops, which sell basic goods such as rice to the poor, would sell goods for free during the lockdown. Several workers, who survive on a daily wage, are migrating for fear of starvation or being evicted from their homes. He will simply throw me out if I don't pay," Ram Nivas Yadav, an auto-rickshaw driver and migrant from Bihar to Delhi, told DW earlier this week. Baldev Rai, a shopkeeper and tea seller in Gurugram near New Delhi said he doesn't know about the symptoms of coronavirus or its mode of transmission. The package includes delivery of grains and lentils to 800 million Indians for 3 months. The official numbers that are announced right now are only the tip of the iceberg," Arvind Kumar, a lung surgeon at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi, told DW earlier this week. Indian epidemiologist Jayaprakash Muliyil issued a dire warning recently, estimating that up to 55% of India's population could contract COVID-19.
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