National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams deployed on routes taken by huge numbers of migrant workers, particularly those heading home in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are helping out stranded people in coordination with the district administration.
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“The exodus of migrant workers triggered an alarm. Some 10,000 to 15,000 people had gathered at Anand Vihar in Delhi and at Kaushambi and Lal Quan in Ghaziabad. In the past two days, we provided masks and other essentials to them. Sanitisers were also given to the bus drivers,” an NDRF official said. Through the public address systems, the NDRF officials informed the large number of stranded persons about the precautions, such as physical distancing, to be taken to prevent coronavirus ( COVID-19 ). “Wherever possible, we are also arranging food for the needy,” the official said.
Following an alert, the NDRF officials deployed along the U.P.-Bihar border joined the district administration and the police.
“Three teams deployed at each of the entry points in Bihar’s Buxar, Kaimur and Gopal Ganj have been providing sanitisers to the migrants since Saturday evening. Arrangements for their medical check-up, temporary shelter and food are being made by the district administration,” another official said.
As part of the awareness drive, the official said, the NDRF is informing the migrant workers about the importance of physical distancing and the need for mandatory 14-day quarantine to stop the spread of virus, as directed by the government. “They are cooperating with us,” the official added.
NDRF teams have also been deployed at Nalanda, Siwan and Patna in Bihar. “They will be activated as and when required. Through video conferencing, we have been training the State and district administrations in the handling of suspected cases of COVID-19 and in taking preventive measures as per the standard protocol,” the official said.
In several other States, too, NDRF teams are on standby. Mock drills have been carried out to check the preparedness for any eventuality.