22,000 migrant workers stuck in Kashmir due to covid-19 » Kashmir Media Service

Srinagar, March 31 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, in the wake of growing COVID-19 cases, many migrant workers who are stuck in the territory are making desperate appeals to the authorities for food and transportation.

Musharraf Shareef, a worker from the eastern Indian state of Bihar, is stuck in Srinagar with a group of over seven people who have no food and money, and are fending for themselves.

Shareef is among many other migrant workers stuck in the territory after lockdown was intensified by the Indian government in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.

“We earn from our day labour and then eat. When you do not have any means of income due to the lockdown, it is hard to survive in such conditions. Before coronavirus, it is the hunger which will kill us,” Shareef told media.

Although the occupation authorities on Sunday started a helpline to provide help and assistance to these workers, many of these are still unable to make a call as their phones have become defunct.

“We can’t make a call from our phones now, we have no recharge. Only a small amount of money is left, and if we use it for other purpose than food, we will starve and die,” Muskeen Abbas, another worker told media.

The desperation to survive in the present crisis can be gauged when a group of 25 workers last Friday walked 100 kilometers (62.1 miles) overnight from South Kashmir’s Shopian district to Surankote in Poonch area of Jammu region. But when they reached there, the district administration put all of them under the required quarantine to avoid possible contraction or transmission of the virus.

An official of the labour department of the occupied territory said they cannot allow anyone of these workers to move as they can easily become carriers of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic in the territory has a seen a surge from last six days taking the tally to 48 cases from initial 13 cases reported last Wednesday. Over 6,000 patients have been put under observation, while two have died, and other two have recovered so far.

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