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Last Updated : Apr 10, 2020 06:39 PM IST | Source: PTI

COVID-19: Plea in SC seeks direction to Centre to help migrant workers stuck in the Gulf

The PIL submitted that the migrant workers in the Gulf countries are being denied treatment in the hospitals even after testing positive for COVID 19 and are told to stay back in their house or camps itself.


A plea seeking directions to the Centre to rescue and bring back Indian migrants stranded in the Gulf countries in wake of COVID-19 pandemic was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday. The petition filed by Pravasi Legal Cell has sought that appropriate arrangements be made to rescue these migrants who are living in vulnerable condition in labour accommodations.

The plea has said that the directions be given by the apex court to ensure that the migrant workers who are experiencing symptoms have access to timely testing and medical facilities as it would result in high risk of transmission owing to the cramped conditions.

It sought steps to ensure adequate food, medicines, quarantine and emergency service facilities.

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The plea said that around 9 million Indians are employed in the Gulf countries and a vast majority of them are involved in low-skilled labour.

It seeks to bring to light the plight of Indians working and living in the constituent countries of Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) due to the outbreak of COVID 19 or coronavirus pandemic.

“According to the WHO, at present, there are 2,932 reported COVID-19 cases in Saudi Arabia, 2,659 cases in the UAE, 2,210 cases in Qatar, 823 cases in Bahrain, 855 cases in Kuwait and 457 cases in Oman,” the plea said.

The PIL submitted that the migrant workers in the Gulf countries are being denied treatment in the hospitals even after testing positive for COVID 19 and are told to stay back in their house or camps itself.

It stated that in the wake of lockdown in several Gulf states have been quarantined in overcrowded Labour accommodation camps.

"Workers' proximity to one another in cramped camps also does not allow for any type of social distancing. A typical Labour accommodation in the Gulf Countries is home to hundreds of thousands of men, most of whom live in cramped dormitories, often packed eight or 10 to a room, making it extremely difficult to stop the transmission of the virus. Communal kitchens and toilets shared by scores of men are often unsanitary and caked in grime," the petition claimed.

It has also sought directions for framing of appropriate scheme to ensure financial support for the families of the migrant labours rendered jobless due to COVID19.

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First Published on Apr 10, 2020 06:30 pm
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