The World Bank in it’s latest report titled – COVID-19 Crisis Through a Migration Lens — the magnitude of internal migration is about two-and-a-half times that of international migration, has revealed the most impacted by the India’s lockdown are the migrant workers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on March 24 announced a three week lockdown till April 14. But due to the rise in cases of COVID-19, it was decidedly unanimously with all states to extend the lockdown by another two weeks till May 3.
“The lockdown in India has impacted the livelihoods of a large proportion of the country’s nearly 40 million internal migrants. Around 50,000–60,000 moved from urban centers to rural areas of origin in the span of a few days,” the bank said in a report.
“Lockdowns, loss of employment, and social distancing prompted a chaotic and painful process of mass return for internal migrants in India and many countries in Latin America,” it said.
Thus, the COVID-19 containment measures might have contributed to spreading the epidemic, the report said.
Governments need to address the challenges facing internal migrants by including them in health services and cash transfer and other social programmes, and protecting them from discrimination, it said.
World Bank said that coronavirus crisis has affected both international and internal migration in the South Asia region.