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India railway employee Dipen Barman, inspects a train coach being converted into an isolation ward for the fight against the new coronavirus in Gauhati on March 29. Image Credit: AP

New Delhi: India’s federal government has asked states to quarantine migrant workers for 14 days and prevent the movement of people across borders to contain the spread of the coronavirus across the South Asian nation.

The number of confirmed cased rose to 979, including 25 deaths, Lav Agarwal, a senior official of the health ministry, said Sunday. Authorities are identifying emerging hot spots and taking cluster containment measures, he said.

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21 day lockdown in the country on Tuesday, there’s been a large movement of people out of large cities like the capital New Delhi and the financial centre of Mumbai, trying to reach their homes after their work disappeared overnight. This is a violation of lockdown measures to maintain social distance, the home ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Migrant workers will be kept in state-run quarantine facilities, while the federal government has asked states to provide shelter and food to those stranded due to the lockdown measures.