01:46 GMT09 July 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian government has extended a 21-day lockdown to 40 days until 3 May in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the national lockdown, migrant workers began heading home due to the uncertainty over their livelihoods.

    A migrant workers’ crisis has hit India once again as thousands of daily wagers reached Bandra Railway Station in Mumbai city in Mharashtra state to head for their homes on Tuesday after the government extended the lockdown.

    The workers, mostly from Bihar and Bengal states, had hoped that train services would resume on Tuesday with the end of the 21-day lockdown, which was eventually prolonged. They ended up protesting at the railway station demanding that they be allowed to go home. Police had to use force to disperse the crowd of thousands of workers amid the lockdown.

    ​The workers in Modi’s home state of Gujarat and Maharashtra have been protesting for the past two days and demanding that they be allowed to go home in the absence of work due to the lockdown. The crisis had earlier hit the country when PM Modi announced a 21-day lockdown, which forced the migrant workers, who were left with no daily earnings, to start a journey on foot to their home towns, but those in Gujarat and Maharashtra were stopped by the government.

    The leader of the incumbent Maharashtra government, Aaditya Thackery, has accused the central authorities of the crisis:

    ​The government’s promises for the poor seem to have fallen flat as unrest among the daily wagers continues. The authorities previously announced a relief package of around $23 billion for people affected by the lockdown, and out of this package there were around $6 billion for free rations and $5 billion for cash transfers for women and senior citizens.

    Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state in the country, with 1,985 positive cases. India has recorded more than 10,000 cases so far, of which 9,272 are active; 1,189 patients have been discharged, while 353 have died.

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    Tags:
    SARS coronavirus, coronavirus, COVID-19, lockdown, Mumbai, India
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