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Kerala Sets Up 4,603 Camps for Over 1 Lakh 'Guest Labourers' Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

Representative Image. Daily wage workers and homeless people eat food inside a government-run night shelter during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the old quarters of  Delhi, India, March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

Representative Image. Daily wage workers and homeless people eat food inside a government-run night shelter during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the old quarters of Delhi, India, March 26, 2020. REUTERS/Anushree Fadnavis

Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan said masks, soaps and hand sanitisers were provided with active community kitchens operating in the temporary campsites.

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala government has set up 4,603 camps for the wellbeing of migrant labourers that are stranded in the state due to the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. Officials said about 1, 44,000 "guest labourers" are temporarily living in the camps.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan addressing the media said that food, accommodation and preventive measures will be provided to all the workers in the camps. “We have taken measures to provide masks, soaps and hand sanitisers. Educational institutions will be converted into camps for them."

On issues related to certain areas in the state where labourers were reported suffering due to lack of supplies and poor living conditions, Vijayan said, “District collectors have to take the onus of the migrants' plight and ensure that they receive help.” He also called for the labour department to act effectively and said the local bodies will be responsible for coordination purposes.

Community kitchens at the campsites were also said to have started operating. "Their food, hygiene and health are being taken care of. Brochures and video messages are also prepared in their languages to educate them. Health workers who know Hindi will educate them on the do's and don'ts," the chief minister said.

The emergency response that is taken by the Kerala government, including ensuring the welfare of the stranded workers and the announcement of the economic package for different sections of the society has been widely appreciated.