Nationwide lockdown after ‘Janata Curfew’

Nationwide lockdown after ‘Janata Curfew’
Rajpath wears a deserted look during ‘Janta Curfew’, in New Delhi on Sunday.
Spl. Correspondent/Agencies NEW DELHI, MAR 22 (NPN) | Publish Date: 3/22/2020 1:50:58 PM IST


‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday across India was peaceful and successful. Millions of people stayed indoors to observe “Janta Curfew” to break the chain of transmission. People stood outside their homes or in their balconies at 5 p.m. to thank the health workers at the forefront of the fight against the virus.

Prime Minister Modi said on Sunday the 14-hour ‘’Janta Curfew’’ is the beginning of a long battle against coronavirus outbreak and the countrymen have proved that together they can defeat any challenge.

As India reported a surge in Covid-19 cases with three more deaths on Sunday, taking the death toll to 7, the Centre and state governments decided to lock down 91 districts across the country affected by coronavirus, officials said on Sunday. Earlier, it was decided to lockdown 80 districts however 11 more districts were added. The number of COVID-19 cases rose to 380, officials said.

Sec. 144 CrPC in Delhi, Maha: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Sunday ordered complete lockdown in the national capital from 6 a.m. of March 23 till midnight of March 31, in the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic.

Talking to media persons along with Delhi’s Lt. Governor Anil Baijal, Kejriwal said: “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Delhi will be under lockdown from Mar 23, 6 a.m. until Mar 31. Certain exceptions have been made to ensure essential items are available for purchase and basic services continue to operate.” Delhi Police Sunday imposed Section 144 CrPC from 9 p.m., Sunday to midnight March 31. 

Maharashtra, the most affected state, also imposed Section 144 of CrPC in all urban areas. “Number of cases has increased considerably. I have no option left but to apply Sec. 144 in Maharashtra,” Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday.

“Maharashtra has entered into a very sensitive & important phase of Coronavirus pandemic. So I urge people to take all precautions in the fight against this virus,” Thackeray said.

Section 144 has already been imposed in several parts of India as a measure to contain COVID-19, which has killed over 13,000 people worldwide.

Several states, including Kerala, Haryana, UP, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, announced partial or complete lockdown for varying periods. Nagaland said it will impose an indefinite lockdown from midnight Sunday.

The Indian Council of Medical Research said they are ramping up testing efforts, but added that they won’t do indiscriminate testing for COVID-19. The strategy is to test only those who show symptoms, its director general said.

Trains, inter-state transport suspended

Earlier Sunday, the Railways announced it was suspending all passenger services until March 31 and said only goods trains will run during the period. The suspension includes all suburban train services. Trains that commenced their journey prior to 4 am on March 22 will complete their journeys, it said, adding that passengers can claim a full refund for trains cancelled during this period till June 21.

The government also suspended all inter-state bus services across the country until March 31.

The extraordinary decisions were taken by the government a day after the Railways reported three incidents-- 12 positive cases and amid an exodus of people from urban areas to their home states, raising fears of the virus spreading to the countryside.

Domestic flights will continue from IGI: Minutes after chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that no domestic or international flight will operate from the Delhi airport from Monday till March 31, a senior official of aviation regulator DGCA clarified that domestic flights will be operating as usual at the airport. 

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