To control the spread of COVID-19 in India and to aid the efforts of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Population Council and other nongovernmental organizations are conducting research to assess residents’ ability to follow sanitation and social distancing precautions under a countrywide lockdown. The Population Council COVID-19 study team is implementing rapid phone-based surveys to collect information on knowledge, attitudes, and practices, as well as needs, among 1,237 young people. As noted in this brief, Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bihar are two of the highest out-migration states in India. Migration is mostly to metropolitan areas in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Punjab. Return migration before, or potentially with, relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown, makes households and the rural health-care system highly vulnerable. So far, migrant households in UP and Bihar are largely adhering to social distancing guidelines, however some migrant households are facing challenges. The following steps are needed: support workers in receiving communities, intensify social security/net programs, monitor migration within India so that it can be done safely, and promote adherence to social-distancing behaviors.
Population Council Institute. 2020. "Migration and COVID-19: Uttar Pradesh and Bihar," brief. New Delhi: Population Council.
Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic; Understanding the Lives of Adolescents and Young Adults (UDAYA)