India reels from migrant workers’ COVID-19 exodus Mar 31, 2020 0 407 12345 AFPNew DelhiIndian authorities struggled on Monday to help millions left jobless by a crippling coronavirus lockdown, potentially undermining efforts to stop the virus ravaging the world’s second most-populous nation.Since the lockdown began on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of labourers have been heading back from cities where they worked to their home villages, some walking hundreds of miles and with little money or food.The exodus has raised worries that those returning may spread coronavirus into rural areas, particularly with authorities resorting to cramming people onto buses and into relief camps and homeless shelters.At the weekend in Delhi, migrant workers and their families fought and shoved their way onto buses organised by India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh.“I couldn’t afford the room we had so there was no choice, we had to leave,” said Ranjid Kumar, who walked with his wife and two-year-old son for two days to get from Haryana state to the bus terminal.Around 90,000 people were transported in buses on Sunday from Ghaziabad outside Delhi, the Times of India reported. Late on Sunday the federal government ordered all district and state borders closed in a bid to stop the exodus, and directed local authorities to organise temporary shelters.On Monday the crowds had disappeared on the outskirts of Delhi. The city government said it was now feeding 400,000 people, with more than 550 schools providing shelter.The central state of Maharashtra, home to Mumbai and another big magnet for migrant labourers, has set up 262 relief camps and was providing shelter to 70,399 people, the chief minister tweeted.Authorities ordered that a racetrack outside Delhi that hosted a Formula One race in 2011 to be used to house 5,000 migrant workers, the Times of India reported.Uttar Pradesh has announced aid and set up 600 shelter homes that will act as quarantine centres, local official Alok Kumar told AFP. He was unable to say how many people were still on the road.State authorities also laid on buses to take people home, but also asked them to stay put, saying they would be provided with food and shelter.But on Monday thousands of men, women and children still thronged Gujarat’s roads.“The contractors who brought us here for work refused to help us,” said Ramprasad Kevat who walked almost 30 kilometres (20 miles) from Ahmedabad and wanted to get back to Jhansi in Madhya Pradesh.A video posted on Twitter by a Times of India journalist and by the Hindu daily appeared to show migrants being hosed down with disinfectant by men in protective suits. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES 1,100 virus lockdown arrests as Malaysian infections pass 2,600 Mar 31, 2020 0 445 Moscow begins lockdown during tougher push to curb virus Mar 31, 2020 0 53 Too early to tell if virus lockdown effective: Philippine minister Mar 31, 2020 0 202 India has no plans to extend lockdown as COVID-19 cases top 1,000 New Delhi The overall number of COVID-19 cases in India crossed the 1,000 mark on Monday, even as the government said there were no plans to prolong the three-week nationwide lockdown. The total number of positive cases .. Three men jailed in Hong Kong for breaching quarantine Hong Kong Three men were sentenced to imprisonment on Monday for violating Hong Kong’s compulsory quarantine measures. A 31-year-old man was given a three-month custodial sentence for giving regulatory officials a .. Pakistan court halts prisoners release amid COVID-19 fears in jails Islamabad Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday halted a release of prisoners, ignoring fears that overcrowded jail might become a new breeding ground for the spread of coronavirus. A five-judge bench in the capital, .. COVID-19 passengers from German cruise ship to remain in Australia DPA Canberra Forty-one passengers and crew members who caught the coronavirus on board a German cruise ship have stayed in Australia, while 844 apparently healthy people were flown out in four charter flights .. North Korea slams Pompeo and says will ‘walk our way’ AFP Seoul North Korea on Monday warned it could cut off dialogue with the United States and slammed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for urging the international community to maintain sanctions on its regime. Pompeo last .. Wuhan’s virus ground-zero market hides in plain sight AFP Wuhan, China In the Chinese city of Wuhan, the wet market that spawned the pandemic which has brought the world to its knees now slumbers quietly behind a tidy-looking blue-and-white partition. But there are ample ..