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DATE PUBLISHED: 1399/01/16 - 20:42:2
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India coronavirus lockdown threatens millions with extreme hardship


People queue to get free food at a government school during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in New Delhi on April 3, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Munawar Zaman
Press TV, New Delhi


Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, millions of people in India are battling against extreme hardships.

On March 24, a sudden unplanned lockdown in India to fight the coronavirus outbreak has received a global praise. However, the move raised great concerns for hundreds of millions in India living in poverty. Those include the migrants, tribal communities, rural farmers and the homeless. While many fled to their native villages, those who got stuck are left with nothing more than miseries amid a battle to survive.

Since the lockdown was announced, life has come to standstill in most parts of the country. In New Delhi for instance, the government’s run shelter homes are overcrowded and that raises fears of further outbreak. Experts say imposing a lockdown on more than a billion people was expected to be challenging.

Observers say the restrictions were necessary to contain the community outbreak. They say the move however will prove devastating for the poor who mostly live in rural parts of the country, where economic activity and healthcare is non-existent.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced an economic stimulus package of 22 billion dollars to help the poor cope up with the loss of income during the lockdown period. The relief package offers support to millions of families but many people are wondering whether the benefits will reach the most deprived on time.

The government maintains that the lockdown is necessary to prevent a humanitarian disaster as the country’s healthcare is weak and millions live in crowded and unhealthy conditions. Critics say the shutdown was poorly planned and the government is now trying to scramble its fallout.

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/15424


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