Emergency lockdown imposed on 25th March has affected the lives of all spheres adversely. But the harshest brunt is bored by the migrant workers who got stranded in cities without food, shelter, or money. Frustrated and helpless, many began their homeward journey on foot or by cycles. Many lost their lives to accidents, car crashes, got crushed by a train, or simply collapsed from exhaustion, hunger, and dehydration.
SaveLIFE Foundation which is concerned with improving medical facilities and road safety researched on the condition of the stranded migrant workers and revealed that lockdown 3.0 has been most fatal to them. Lockdown 3.0 that extended from 4th May to 17th May recorded over 118 deaths of migrant workers.
Over 200 deaths of migrant workers that occurred throughout the lockdown can be owed to road accidents and speeding. States that recorded the highest road crash deaths of stranded workers are Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Telangana and Maharashtra. UP has been home to the highest number of road crashes with 94 casualties. Next in line is Madhya Pradesh with 38 deaths, Bihar with 16, Telangana with 11, and Maharashtra with 9 deaths of migrant workers. “There were at least 1,461 road crashes over the course of the lockdown between March 25 and May 31, 2020.
At least 750 people were killed including 198 migrant workers headed home. 1,390 persons were reported injured in the crashes. The data has been compiled using media-tracking and multi-source verification,” the NGO informed. The different phases Phase one of the COVID-19 extended from 25th March to 15th April and witnessed 25 deaths of migrant workers.
Lockdown 2.0 extended from 16th April to 3rd May and witnessed the least number of casualties with 17 deaths. The most number of casualties was witnessed by the third phase, lockdown 3.0 which accounted for 60% of the casualties with over 118 deaths. It extended from 4th May to 17th May. The fourth phase of the lockdown records 19% of the total deaths of migrant workers with 38 casualties.
Piyush Tiwari, founder of SaveLIFE said, “With COVID-19 still very much around, we simply can’t afford to burden our already over-burdened healthcare system with road crash-related trauma.
The data collated by us suggests that there has been a surge in road crashes with the lifting of the restrictions across the states in phase 3 and phase 4. It is critical that states enhance enforcement to prevent road crashes and the citizens inculcate essential safety habits for the road like they did for personal hygiene during the lockdown.” States- 6 states that recorded the highest number of deaths (migrant workers and others) during the lockdown. Uttar Pradesh accounts for 30% of the casualties with 245 deaths. Telangana and Madhya Pradesh both account for 56 deaths followed by Bihar, Punjab, and Maharashtra with 43, 38, and 36 deaths respectively.
Due to the nature of the virus, the lockdown imposed was very sudden and unprepared which led to a major struggle for the deprived class of the country. India currently records approximately 217K patients with 104K recovered.