Updated: March 23, 2020 5:30:28 pm
Delhi will be on lockdown between 6 am Monday and March 31 to arrest the spread of coronavirus. Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad will also suspend all but essential services. In a press conference jointly addressed by him and L-G Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called the measures necessary. “They say extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. The whole world is battling the virus… We are lucky it reached our country a little later. There is not a lot of research on the coronavirus but we can learn from a lot of other countries — both that took timely measures and those that didn’t,” he said. Essential services will remain operational. This includes law and order, magisterial duties, hospitals, banks, media, grocery and vegetable stores, takeaway services, e-commerce websites and pharmacists. Public transport, including private cabs such as Ola and Uber, the Metro, religious places, international flights and construction are suspended. DTC buses will work at 25% capacity. State borders will be sealed, allowing only those involved in essential services, to cross over. The assembly of more than five people has been outlawed.
On a day Uttar Pradesh reported three new cases, taking the total number of cases in the state to 29, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday announced that 16 districts would be under lockdown till Wednesday. The Centre had asked the state government to impose lockdowns in six districts. “In the first phase, we are going to completely lock down 15 districts where either coronavirus-affected people are…The Janata Curfew will extend in these districts,” Adityanath said. Later in the day, Pilibhit was added to the list of districts. At a time when a large number of migrant labourers are returning to UP, the Chief Minister instructed the administration to ensure self-isolation of these people. Meanwhile, cities and towns in the state shut down on Sunday for Janata Curfew. Lucknow Commissioner Sujeet Pandey said, “People have cooperated with the authorities in maintaining the curfew.”
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Andhra Pradesh & Telangana
Announcing a total lockdown, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said that about 87 lakh people with ration cards would be given 12 kg rice and other essential commodities worth Rs 1,500 for a month. While the Centre had advised a lockdown in five districts, KCR said the state government had decided to shut down the entire state. He said essential commodities and emergency services will be available. “After a review on March 31, we will take further action,’’ he said.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy announced closure of all inter-state borders and said the entire state would be under lockdown till March 31.
As West Bengal recorded three more COVID-19 cases on Sunday, taking the total number to seven, the state government announced a lockdown in almost all municipal areas, including Kolkata, from Monday evening to March 27 midnight. Only essential goods and services will be available during the lockdown. The order said said no public transport services will be permitted.
In a separate order, the government announced that other than essential services, all employees from government and private sector should remain at home in this period.
As Karnataka reported six new COVID-19 cases on Sunday and the total number of cases in the state rose to 26, the B S Yediyurappa government decided to impose a partial lockdown till March 31 in nine districts where people have tested positive for COVID-19. The move followed a meeting between Yediyurappa, the ministerial task force on COVID-19, experts and officials.
“All commercial activities, except medical stores, grocery and agriculture services, in Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Mangaluru, Mysuru, Kalaburagi, Dharwad, Kodagu and Belagavi districts are suspended until March 31,’’ Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.
With the Finance Bill pending passage in the state legislature, the government has not cancelled the meeting of the legislative assembly and council. After the passage of the Bill, the state legislature may be adjourned sine die, a minister said.
Among measures to help people tide over the curfew-like situation, the government has decided to provide ration for two months in advance.
Section 144 of CrPC will come into force in several cities in Maharashtra from Monday and remain in effect till March 31. On Sunday, one more COVID-19 patient died in the state. Ten fresh cases were reported from the state on Sunday, taking the total number to 74.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray also suspended the services of state transport and private buses, Buses within cities will continue to ply so that people involved in essential services can get to work.
Appreciating the people’s response to Janata Curfew, Thackeray said, “People should maintain this until tomorrow morning and should not venture out of homes after 9 pm if not essential. From tomorrow morning, I have been left with no option but to impose Section 144 in all urban areas across the state.”
“I want to see the determination and restraint shown today during Janata curfew till March 31. If required, we will need to extend the period,” he said.
Jammu and Kashmir
The Union Territory will go into lockdown from 8 pm on Sunday until March 31. Districts in J&K will also restrict assemblies at public places to “not more than three persons”.
And order issued on Sunday notes that “all goods vehicles including those carrying essential items shall be allowed to ply during the shutdown period with proper permits/passes issued by the district administration who will make necessary arrangements for this purpose.”
Districts have also been urged to make appropriate arrangements for persons engaged in providing essential services.
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