COVID-19 pandemic: 80 districts under lockdown even as number of positive cases touches 360

While 319 of the positive cases were Indian, 41 are foreigners, the Health Ministry; Delhi’s 7 districts along with Srinagar, Jammu among 80 districts across 22 states and UTs in India under lockdown

Photo courtesy- social media
Photo courtesy- social media

NH Web Desk

The total number of positive coronavirus cases in India reached 360 on Sunday, including the foreign nationals, with 329 active cases, the Union Health Ministry said.

While 319 of the positive cases were Indian, 41 are foreigners, the Health Ministry said.

"A total of 24 patients have been cured and discharged. Seven deaths have been reported across the country," it said.

Among the 23 states and union territories where the cases were found, Maharashtra has the highest patient count followed by Kerala.

The number of cases across the country has been increasing on a drastic speed.

While Bihar, Punjab, Delhi, Gujarat, and Karnataka have reported one each coronavirus related deaths, Maharashtra has reported two deaths as of now.

80 districts across nation under lockdown

Delhi's seven districts along with Srinagar and Jammu were among the 80 districts across 22 states and Union Territories in India where only essential services will be allowed in the backdrop of spread of COVID-19 cases.

All state governments are set to issue orders allowing only essential services in these districts very soon. Three districts in Andhra Pradesh; Chandigarh; Raipur in Chhattisgarh; seven in Delhi; six in Gujarat; five in Haryana; Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, Afive in Karnataka, 10 in Kerala, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, 10 in Maharashtra, Khurda in Odisha, Mahe in Puducherry, three in Punjab, four in Rajasthan, three in Tamil Nadu, five in Telangana, six in Uttar Pradesh, Dehradun in Uttarakhand, and Kolkata and North 24 Parganas are under the restrictions.

Srinagar, Jammu in Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir; and Kargil and Leh in Union Territory of Ladakh are among the list of UTs where the restriction will be imposed.

This was decided at a meeting here on Sunday morning with Chief Secretaries of all states by the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister P.K. Misra.

Following detailed discussions, the Cabinet note said the state governments were advised to issue appropriate orders to allow only essential services to in the 75 districts which have reported confirmed cases or casualties relating to COVID 19.

"The state governments may expand the list depending on their assessment of the situation. It was noted that several state governments have already issued orders in this regard."

The chief secretaries said that there is overwhelming and spontaneous response to the call for 'Janata curfew' given by the Prime Minister on Thursday. As many as 13,049 people have lost their lives across the globe and the deadly virus has affected 3.7 lakh people.

All train services suspended

In view of the increasing number of coronavirus patients in the country, the national transporter on Sunday announced stopping all the trains, except the goods trains, till March 31. Rajesh Dutt Bajpai, Executive Director, Ministry of Railways, in a statement said, "No train except goods train will be run up to midnight hrs of March 31."

Bajpai said bare minimum suburban services and Kolkata metro Rail service will continue to run till midnight on March 22.

In view of 'Janata Curfew', the Indian Railways had already decided to cancel the long distance trains originating between 4 a.m. and 10 pm. The railways has also cancelled all passengers trains across the country.

By Saturday, the railways had cancelled 245 pairs of trains across the country.

Delhi in lockdown from March 23 to 31

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Sunday that from 6 am onwards on Monday, Delhi will remain on lockdown till March 31.

This will mean:

*No public transport, taxis, autos and rickshaws will run

*25 percent of DTC buses to run for essential services.

*Shops, commercial services, weekly bazars and borders will be sealed (except for essential items).

*Interstate bus and train stand suspended

*Domestic and international flights to be suspended

*Construction activities and religious places will be closed.

*All private offices to remain closed.

Delhi Metro has already announced suspension of all services till March 31.

Lockdown in Kolkata, some other parts of Bengal

The West Bengal government on Sunday ordered complete lockdown of Kolkata, six entire districts and municipal and district towns besides some rural areas in other parts of the state from 5 p.m. on Monday to Friday midnight to combat the spread of coronavirus.

The order, covering whole or part of all the 23 districts in the state, was given under the West Bengal Epidemic Disease COVID-19 regulations, 2020, framed according to relevant sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

"The government of West Bengal hereby notifies 'complete safety restriction' with effect from 5 p.m. on March 23 to midnight of March 27," said the order, which would come into effect across identified urban and rural areas for prevention and containment of coronavirus.

The order stipulates complete restrictions on public transport services including operation of taxis and auto-rickshaws, closure of all shops, commercial establishments, offices and factories, workshops and warehouses.

"All foreign returnees and other such persons so required by the health personnel are directed to remain under strict home quarantine for a period as directed by the local health authorities," it said.

The order issued by the Chief Secretary also asked people to stay at home and come out only for basic services while strictly following the social distancing guidelines.

Lockdown in Bihar, Telengana, Punjab, Rajasthan

Bihar joined a list of states, which include Punjab, Rajasthan and Telangana, to announce a lockdown till March 31 to combat coronavirus.

Bihar Chief Minister's office released a statement which reads, “In the wake of coronavirus, lockdown has been imposed in the state till March 31. All essential services will available.”

The decision for Telengana was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Sunday, who also extended Narendra Modi's 'Janata Curfew' callby 10 hours.

Telangana has so far reported 21 COVID-19 positive cases. The first secondary transmission came to light on Saturday, sending the alarm bells ringing. The son of a man who had returned from Dubai and tested positive on March 19, was also found infected by the virus.

Punjab too issued a complete lockdown in the state just 12 hours after it was announced by Rajasthan. Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh on Sunday issued orders for shutdown of all non-essential services and businesses with immediate effect till March 31 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

After the death of a 70-year-old person in Nawanshahar district due to the coronavirous and 14 others testing positive for the virus, the government on Saturday had ordered shutdown in several districts including Jalandhar, Nawanshahar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Patiala and Bathinda till Wednesday.

Rajasthan announced a complete lockdown late on the night of March 21

Goa, TN to extend ‘curfew’

Roads and public spaces in Goa wore a deserted look on Sunday, in view of the 'janata curfew' announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even as Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the state government might extend the curfew by two more days. "A final decision has not been taken," Sawant said.

Tamil Nadu government too extended the time of Janata Curfew. “Keeping in mind the welfare of the public the Janata Curfew time has been extended till 5 a.m. on Monday while the essential services will continue to operate,” it said.

Meanwhile, many users took to Twitter to criticise the PM’s call urging citizens to clap or use pots and pans to express appreciation for health and emergency workers at 5 PM on Sunday, during the course of the ‘Janata Curfew’.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Published: 22 Mar 2020, 9:40 PM