Hyderabad: In a major relief for migrant workers in Telangana, amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) on Sunday announced that each of them will get Rs.500 cash and 12 kg of rice in a relief package.
The announcement was made on a day when three more persons tested positive for the virus, taking the total number of those infected to 70. However, in a silver lining,11 (who were infected) of them have tested negative as well, and will be released soon, KCR added.
“No person shall starve in Telangana. Please do not worry about your food and stay or medical supplies. You have come here to serve us and are our state development partners. Live peacefully here and don’t worry about going back. No matter how much we have to spend, we will do it," KCR said, while briefing the media about developments regarding COVID-19 on Sunday at his camp office in Hyderabad.
The chief minister also stated tat a total of 25,937 people in the state (international arrivals) are currently under surveillance by the state and that they will be off observation starting March 30 in different batches. KCR also added that the state government will purchase every single grain from farmers in the coming days and asked them not to worry or be anxious about their produce. “Everything will be sold in your village as the state-run markets are closed," he added.
While Hyderabad has not witnessed any chaotic scenes like the one at Delhi’s Anand Vihar bus terminal (wherein thousands gathered in a bid to return home, left with no other choice given the lack of work), the situation is grim for labourers from outside the state who earn either daily wages or monthly incomes which barely allows them to save up for such situations.
Sai Teja, an IT professional and Hyderabad-based activist said that there are about 5,200 migrant labourers across the city and its surroundings across the Hyderabad, Rachakonda and Cyberabad (under which the Hitech City area falls under) police commssionerates. “Yesterday I served food to people who were hungry from two days, after which the GHMC officials called the builder. The Cyberabad and Rachankonda police have been helping us with logistics.
Under the relief package for migrant workers, each person will be given Rs.500, so a family of four will get Rs.2,000. In Telangana, the first death due to COVID-19 was reported few days ago, wherein a 74-year-old man who died of pneumonia at a private hospital had tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile in the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh, two new cases of COVID-19 were reported on Sunday, taking the total tally to 21. Prior to that, six new people had tested positive on 28 March. The state government also reduced the ‘relaxation’ hours for the public to go out and purchase essentials by two hours, or from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., as against the earlier time of 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
According to the media bulletin from the AP government, the two persons who tested positive on Sunday had come into contact with another person (patient number 7, who returned to AP from England) who was infected with the virus and whose test result (positive) came back on 17 March.