The 21-day nationwide lockdown to battle Covid-19 prompted thousands of migrant workers in Delhi as well as in other states to head back to their native places in Uttar Pradesh. With all modes of transport being shut, the workers decided to reach their homes on foot.

Addressing their ordeal, the Yogi Adityanath government then arranged special buses that picked them up from Delhi's Anand Vihar ISBT and dropped them off to their respective districts. A group of such workers, including men, women, and children, arrived at Bareilly and were showered with disinfectants to avoid the risk of the novel coronavirus spread.

Disinfectant sprayed on UP labourers
Disinfectant sprayed on UP labourers

Video emerges on social media

A video of the incident has emerged on Twitter which shows health officials in protective gear spraying chemicals on a batch of migrant workers in the middle of a road.

"Please shut your eyes and also close the eyes of your kids," says a man in the video.

We did not mean to be inhuman, says official

When one of the officials was asked about the harsh step, he said, "We did not mean to be inhuman. It was important to sanitize everyone and there was a rush. So we did what we thought was best."

Nitish Kumar, District Magistrate, Bareilly, will be conducting an inquiry over the incident. He said that the disinfectants were meant for the buses which ferried the labourers.

The local DM said that the spray was meant to sanitize buses but officials got over eager!

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra took to Twitter to express her anguish over the treatment given to the migrant workers.

"I appeal to the Uttar Pradesh government that all of us are fighting together against this crisis, sp please don't take such inhuman actions. The labourers have already suffered a lot. Don't spray chemicals on them. This won't protect them. It would rather harm their health," she wrote.

Incoming migrant workers to be quarantined for 14 days in UP

UP CM Yogi Adityanath on Saturday, Match 28, directed top officials of the state to ensure that all the incoming migrant workers are put under quarantine for at least 14 days. Over one lakh labourers have returned to UP in the past 2-3 days.

Yogi Adityanath
Adityanath wielded his authority on Thursday night when he stripped some of the Ministers of their portfolios.IANS

The Chief Minister is also making sure that food and other required facilities are made available to all those in isolation. There are over 60 positive cases of COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh as of now.