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Over 21k camps operational in country, over 6.6 lakh sheltered

New Delhi: Over 21,000 relief camps have been made operational in the country where more than 6.6 lakh destitute people and those stranded because of the COVID-19 lockdown are sheltered as of now, the Union home ministry said on Tuesday.

Punya Salila Srivastava, a joint secretary in the ministry, told reporters during a daily briefing on the coronavirus and lockdown situation that over 23 lakh people are also being provided food at these camps and other locations.   

She said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was continuously monitoring the enforcement of the lockdown in the country in coordination with states and union territories and the situation till now has been satisfactory.

“As per information provided by states and UTs to the MHA, there are about 21,064 relief camps set up and over 6.66 lakh people are sheltered here. More than 23 lakh people are also being provided food.”

“These facilities are available to the poor, destitute, to those who are stranded migrant workers, to those who only need food and also to those who have reached their location but are quarantined as per standard protocols,” the officer said.

“The situation of migrant workers is also under control,” she said.

The system of transporting essential supplies across the country is also running satisfactorily, she said, adding interstate cargo movement is also going on smoothly.

“We hope that the lockdown will be effective…And we will collectively tackle the COVID-19 challenge,” Srivastava said.

Asked if the government was planning to deploy central paramilitary forces to strictly enforce the three-week lockdown declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from March 25, she said if any state seeks such an assistance from the MHA an action will be taken.

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