Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath announced on Friday that his government will bring back migrant workers stranded in other states and Union Territories, amid a nationwide lockdown till May 3 due to the coronavirus pandemic, NDTV reported. This action will be carried out in a “phased manner”, the Chief Minister’s Office said.

Adityanath said only those workers have completed a 14-day quarantine period will be brought back to Uttar Pradesh, The Hindu reported. The Chief Minister’s Office said Adityanath has asked officials to prepare a working plan to carry out these evacuations.

“After screening and testing such people, the concerned state government should start the process of sending them back,” the Uttar Pradesh government said. “After they are brought to the UP borders, the state government will transport them to their districts by bus.”

Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Awasthi said plans are also being made to keep the workers in quarantine after they reach the state. Government officials have also been asked to come up with a plan to sanitise the shelters where the workers will be housed, and make provisions for food and water.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the nationwide lockdown on March 25. Following this, tens of thousands of labourers began leaving their places of work, for their home states, on foot. However, fearing a spread of Covid-19, the central government asked states and Union Territories to close their borders. For now, the labourers have been housed in government-provided camps. However, in some places, they have demonstrated, demanding a return home.

Uttar Pradesh has so far reported 1,604 cases of Covid-19, including 24 deaths, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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