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The Supreme Court on Monday sought a status report from the Centre by Tuesday on the measures taken in view of the large-scale migration of labourers from cities to their native villages amid the coronavirus outbreak and the consequent lockdown across the country.
The top court observed that the "migration of labourers out of panic and fear is becoming a bigger problem than the coronavirus".
It said the court would not create more confusion by issuing directions on measures that the government is already taking to deal with the issue.
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao, which took up two separate PILs filed by advocates Alakh Alok Srivastava and Rashmi Bansal on the issue of migration of labourers through video-conferencing, said before passing any direction, it would like to wait for the status report from the Centre.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said the migration of labourers needs to be stopped to prevent the spread of the virus and the Centre, as well as the states concerned, have taken the requisite steps to deal with it.
"This migration needs to be stopped because if there is a transmission of the virus, it will be unstoppable."
The bench posted the matters for hearing on Tuesday
The 21-day lockdown imposed from Tuesday midnight in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus has triggered a mass exodus of migrant workers from cities in several states to their villages.