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Coronavirus

India shutdown leaves throngs of migrant workers stranded

Left in the lurch, people head back to hometowns, potentially spreading virus

Thousands of migrant workers gathered on March 28 for buses to take them from New Delhi to their home villages.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Millions of migrant workers have lost their jobs under India's unprecedented lockdown, forcing crowds to head back to their hometowns and heightening the risk of transmitting the novel coronavirus across the country.

The capital of New Delhi attracts roughly 100 million migrant workers from surrounding states, many of whom live within factories and construction sites. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a 21-day stay-in-place order last week, those laborers were left with no place to stay and no way to feed themselves.

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