After the shocking video of government authorities spraying alleged chemicals on the migrant labourers in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district surfaced on Monday, the Health Ministry called it an unnecessary act by some of the ‘over-zealous’ employees.
In the video, migrant workers and their families from Uttar Pradesh were seen being forced to take a bath in alleged chemical solution on their arrival in Bareilly.
Joint Secretary of Ministry of Health, Lav Agarwal, during a press conference said, “Over-zealous employees did something that was not required. There were no guidelines to do so.”
Agarwal further supported the Bareilly’s District Magistrate’s clarification on the incident.
“This video has been investigated, the affected people are being treated under the direction of the CMO. The team of Bareilly Municipal Corporation and Fire Brigade were instructed to sanitize the buses, but they did so due to hyperactivity. Instructions have been given to take action against the concerned,” Bareilly’s DM Nitish Kumar had tweeted.
Later in another tweet, he said, “Perhaps this method of sanitization is being adopted in different other countries as well. While doing this, precautions should have been taken and the safety measures should also have been taken so that the people should not have faced issues.”
The nodal officer-in-charge of COVID-19 in Bareilly, Ashok Gautam, had confirmed that the administration did bathe the migrants with a sanitiser, chlorine mixed with water, but clarified it was not a chemical solution.
Over the weekend, thousands of migrant labourers from Delhi, Haryana and even Punjab have taken arduous treks on foot to reach their native places in the absence of public transportation amidst the 21-day lockdown.
The migrant workers were seen thronging the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh borders and trying to return to their native states by any available transport.