CNA Staff, Mar 31, 2020 / 14:30 pm
A bishop in India has condemned the spraying of migrant workers and their children with disinfectant, after a video posted to Twitter showed public health authorities doing exactly that.
The video was posted to Twitter Sunday. The Times of India reported that families at a bus stand in the northern Indian city of Bareilly were told to sit on the ground, and were then sprayed with a bleaching agent mixed with water.
In the video, parents and their children sat on the streets of Bareilly and are showered with a chemical solution of chlorine mixed with water. Men in hazmat suits can be heard telling the migrants to close their eyes and mouths.
Bishop Ignatius D’Souza of Bareilly said spraying migrant workers with disinfectant was inhumane.
"This is inhuman, because these people are poor and marginalized and desperate our migrants labourers and their families. Their dignity cannot be violated in this inhuman and shocking manner,” the bishop said, according to Asia News.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed the country on lockdown as cases of COVID-19 in India have reached 1,251. The lockdown has closed down borders and forced migrant workers in India’s largest cities to return home to their villages.
Ashok Gautam, an officer in charge of COVID-19 operations in northern India, told CNN that as many as 5,000 people have been similarly disinfected before being allowed to return home.