From lockdown to plight of migrant workers: 2020, the year of pandemic

The invisibles

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Migrant workers wait outside a bus stop.

 

Millions of factory workers were rendered homeless and jobless after the lockdown shuttered businesses overnight. Stranded without food or water, they began to flee cities, turning the lockdown into a humanitarian crisis.

 

The rush hour

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A near-deserted Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata.

India came to a screeching halt in March as the government imposed the strictest lockdown anywhere in the world. Places that would normally be bustling with people and traffic became virtually empty.

Victory for science

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Even as countries locked their borders, the world saw a global collaboration unlike any in history in the race for a vaccine.

The intense focus yielded in a breakthrough in a record-breaking time of less than a year. By December, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were approved for use in the US and UK. Affordable vaccines by India's Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute are also being readied for roll-out soon.

Virus trackers

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Health workers in protective gear carry out door-to-door survey to check the spread of infection in West Bengal.

Early on in the coronavirus outbreak, contact tracing became a vital tool in India's efforts to rein in the virus.

Unequal pain

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A migrant worker with his family in Delhi.

As the lockdown closed all public transport, millions were driven to walk back to their villages hundreds of kilometres away. It was one of the biggest migrations in modern India.

A veil of protection

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Customers interact with shopkeepers at a bakery in Srinagar through a plastic sheet that was put up as a preventive measure against Covid-19.

From bakery shops to ride-hailing companies, plastic sheets were put up to guard against the coronavirus and prevent infections. 

An uneasy ride

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An ambulance arrives to transport a family to a quarantine facility in Punjab.

Many ambulance workers got infected while ferrying coronavirus patients during the pandemic.

Positive play

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Patients play board games at a Covid treatment facility.

As the virus spread rapidly throughout the country, stadiums, hotels and train coaches were hurriedly turned into makeshift hospitals.


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