Coronavirus in Mira-Bhayander: Social distancing goes for a toss: Migrants throng hospital for medical certificates

Ramlal Yadav, who used to work in a steel utensil buffing unit in Bhayandar, is desperate to return to his hometown in Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi district.

Yadav is amongst thousands of others labourers who were crammed in a serpentine queue outside the government hospital in Bhayandar, since 7 am on Monday, to get their medical certificates which will facilitate their homebound journey even as social distancing norms were thrown to the wind.

With their livelihoods coming to a halt after the imposition of countrywide lockdown, the daily wage workers from across the twin-city thronged the hospital and local clinics in the hope of getting the certificates which will help them reaching their homes in far-flung areas, notwithstanding the threat of spread of the coronavirus disease.

Their agony won’t end here as even after procuring the certificate, they will have to go through a herculean task of filing online applications to obtain the permission to travel. According to directives issued by the district administration, those who want to leave for their home states should submit an online application with details and a medical certificate, confirming that the aspiring travellers do not have any sign and symptoms of influenza like illness. But, people mainly unskilled and illiterate workers are neither aware of the procedure, nor are in a position to comply with the digital system which also necessitates uploading photos and documents in compressed file sizes.

Fortunately for them, several municipal corporators have come forward to help the migrants submit the online applications. A relaxation has been given to migrants who are stuck here, to return to their home in different states.

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Free Press Journal