NEW DELHI: Over 75 lakh needy people, including migrant labourers, have been provided with food at 19,460 special food camps set up across the country in the wake of the lockdown imposed to counter coronavirus pandemic, officials said on Sunday.
These special food camps are in addition to 27,661 shelters set up for migrant workers and needy people. A total of 12.5 lakh people have been given shelter in these arrangements, they said.
Soon after the lockdown was imposed across the country, a large number of migrant workers started leaving for their native states on foot in the absence of transport facilities and employment opportunities.
Addressing a press conference, MHA Joint Seceretary Punya Salila Srivastava said 23,924 shelter camps have been set up by the state and Union territory governments, while 3,737 shelters have been set by non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
A total of 9,951 food camps have been set by the state/UT governments and 9,509 camps by NGOs, she said.
Srivastava said 13.5 lakh workers are being provided with shelter and food by their employers.
She said the ‘MHA lockdown guidelines’ include drugs and pharmaceuticals, medical devices, raw materials and their packaging materials in essential services. In order to ensure smooth functioning of the supply chain of essential goods, interstate movement of employees of such units has been permitted in the guidelines, she said.
Meanwhile, home secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote to chief secretaries to support manufacturing units of pharmaceuticals after the industry reported problems in some pockets.
The home secretary has asked the state governments to develop standard operating procedures for the interstate movement of workers in conformity with social distancing norms and health protocols.
On reports of increased prices of essential commodities, Srivastava said interstate cargo movement has been allowed and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) along with state governments, Union territories and Union ministries concerned are monitoring the situation.
Area officers have been appointed to resolve concerns of all stake holders and Railways has transported 7,630 rakes and 3.92 lakh wagons of essential items between March 25 and April 4, the official added.