Migrant workers in China need emergency psychological interventions during the COVID-19 outbreak

Zi Han Liu, Yan Jie Zhao, Yuan Feng, Qinge Zhang, Bao Liang Zhong, Teris Cheung, Brian J. Hall, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been found in more than 200 countries worldwide since December, 2019. In China, a major reason for the rapid transmission of the COVID-19 in early stage of the outbreak is the huge numbers of passengers boarding their "last train home"to meet family members during the Spring Festival. Most of these travelers were internal migrant workers. In order to reduce the risk of the COVID-19 transmission, public transportation networks were suspended, and many migrant workers who returned to their hometowns needed to be quarantined for 2 weeks, which led to the delay of returning back to cities to work. Many businesses have temporarily closed because of the risk of COVID-19 transmission, leading to unemployment of many workers. Sudden loss of income and further quarantine enforcement in cities can exacerbate existing mental health problems or trigger new mental disorders among affected migrant workers. However, to date no specific guidelines or strategies about mental health services of migrant workers have been released. Health authorities and professionals should pay more attention to this vulnerable group and provide timely mental health service support for those in need.

Original languageEnglish
Article number75
JournalGlobalization and Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2020


  • China
  • COVID-19
  • Mental health
  • Migrant workers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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