COVID-19, the virus, which has infected close to 7,00,000 people worldwide and resulted in more than 33,000 deaths, has till now (March 29) claimed 44 Indian lives.
What’s shocking is the fact that while 27 of these people have died because of the disease, 20 people have died because of the 21-day lockdown imposed by PM Narendra Modi on March 24 to curb spread of COVID-19.
As per a report in The Wire, at least 17 migrant labourers and their family members – including five children – have lost their lives till now while trying desperately to return home due to the lockdown. While an 11-year-old boy in Bihar also reportedly died because of hunger as his family could not arrange for food due to lockdown, two more people (not migrant workers) also died because of the lockdown.
After the three-week lockdown was announced by PM Modi, thousands of migrant workers in different parts of the country panicked and decided to head to their native places. With no mode of transport, several of these daily wage earners started walking towards their homes. Horrifying tales of these workers walking hundreds of km have been very well reported in many leading dailies. What’s more horrifying was that many of these workers were lathi-charged in several areas by the police personnel, who were instructed to implement the lockdown strictly.
On March 28, a 39-year-old man, who worked as a home delivery man for a restaurant in Delhi, died because of lockdown. The man, who has been identified as Ranveer Singh, started walking from Delhi towards his home in Morena district in Madhya Pradesh. After crossing 200 kms, he died of a heart attack in Agra, reported The Times of India.
On March 28 again, four out of seven migrant workers were killed in Virar on Mumbai-Gujarat highway while they were trying to return to their homes in Rajasthan. The workers, who worked in Mumbai, were stopped on the Maharashtra-Gujarat border and were returning to Virar when the accident took place.
As per ANI, on March 29, a fast moving canter hit around eight members of a migrant family in Gurgaon while they were walking towards their home in Haryana. Among the eight members, four died because of the accident.
Just like the accident on March 29, an accident in Telangana on March 27 killed eight people. The eight persons, including an 18-month-old baby and a nine-year-old girl, were returning to their homes in Karnataka. Six people were reported to be injured by the accident as well by The Indian Express.