Migrant workers continue to bear the brunt of the incompetent Indian Government, Centre and States. Now, there is another humanitarian tragedy unfolding involving the migrant workers. This is the unassigned coronavirus cases. These are the coronavirus cases being reported by the Central Government, but without any states owning them up.
Unassigned coronavirus cases started as a small footnote in the MOHFW tracker: Cases being reassigned to states. As on date, 29th May 2020, this category has 4673 cases. If considered as a stand-alone state, it would be the 8th largest state in the country in terms of cases. Just that, it is not a state, but the abdication of the responsibility by a state.
How can cases be unassigned/remain unassigned
Every Indian is a citizen of the country, and hence a resident of the country. Extending this basic premise, the citizen is also a resident of a state, any state of the country. The citizen cannot exist in isolation without the state. This is a fundamental principle of citizenship. Seemingly, Indian states have decided to have their decree of what constitutes citizenship of their state.
I am unable to understand the assertion of unassigned cases. How can the coronavirus cases be reported without a state? A coronavirus case implies a human being infected with the disease. This human being has to belong somewhere/someplace. Surprise of surprises, there is no jurisdiction of Indian states willing to own up the patient. How is this possible?
Central Government continues to report unassigned coronavirus cases daily and not a single state, to repeat, not a single state has acknowledged their presence. One may think, due to some bureaucratic hassles, the cases may get reported as unassigned, maybe. How can they remain as unassigned for so long that they become an 8th largest chunk of cases? How is this possible?
What next for unassigned coronavirus cases?
Ok, fine, India is weird enough to report cases without a state owning up. Even this would have been fine if there was an allusion of an institution taking care of the patients. However, this does not seem to be the case.
MOHFW is only reporting the number of infections for unassigned coronavirus cases. It is not showing any data of cured/discharged; or even deaths. The ministry does not seem to know what is happening to this category of patients. They cannot remain infected forever, either they have to get cured or… Even the central Government has disowned them.
There are so many unanswered questions for this category of patients. Where are they being treated? Who is taking care of them? Who is providing them with emotional support? Have their near and dear ones been informed? How are they responding to treatment?
I do not think I have the heart to know the answers, though. Do you think even one of the answers will be in the affirmative when the states in-charge do not even want to show up/put their name to these patients?
The lessons learnt from migrant workers
How the Indian Government, Centre and states, has handled the migrant workers’ crisis; they have blood on their hands. They have completely bungled up their response for they did not even know the issue on hand; leave aside the extent of the disaster.
They ought to have learnt their lesson. They ought to have learnt to own up, act proactively to handle the issue on hand and stop pretending that there is no problem at all that requires their intervention.
If the Governments would have any learning from the migrant workers’ crisis, it would have shown up here. It is zilch, as on date.
If not migrant workers, who
One can argue that unassigned coronavirus cases need not be migrant workers at all. In that case, please try to explain who these fateful people could be.
MOHFW is reporting these numbers. There is no logical progression to them. There is no ownership of states. None of the media has any interest in them. The judiciary is silent. The politicians of every hue and colour are not bothered about them.
Who could such unfortunate people be, be disowned by all the pillars of democracy, and on top of it, be infected by the coronavirus?
The ordinary Indian citizens have tried to mitigate the difficult circumstances of migrant workers, in ways whatever possible for them. In this case, even they cannot do anything. There is no way that they would get to know about the sufferings of these patients.
They are destined to be faceless and nameless victims of the heartless Indian state. They would have anyways lived and died without anyone ever getting to know about them. The coronavirus has only hastened the process of their miserable demise.