The Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development hosted a webinar on May 21 on the Indian government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. So far, India has recorded more than 270,000 cases, with nearly 8000 deaths across the country.

Former Secretary of Health and Family Welfare to the Government of India, Mr Keshav Desiraju, discussed the Indian government’s response to the pandemic, the plight of migrant workers and the impact of the lockdown on health, social structure and economy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced an immediate lockdown in India on May 24, following which all state borders were closed and travel was suspended. Lakhs of migrant workers, who live in temporary dwellings in cities, were forced to walk back to their hometowns and villages – covering hundreds of miles by foot.

The webinar was moderated by Dr Anant Jani, Research Associate at the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development.

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