Coronavirus Updates: India Heads For Complete Lockdown As Covid-19 Cases Mount
India Starts Shutting Down As Coronavirus Spreads
Amid a countrywide 'Janta Curfew', several Indian states today announced lockdowns in some form or the other to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
As of 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, India had 396 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including seven people who succumbed to the disease. According to latest data from the government’s Indian Council of Medical Research, a total of 18,127 samples from 17,237 individuals have been tested for SARS-CoV2.
Preventive measures against the virus have been stepped up.
- Indian Railways has suspended all passenger train services till March 31.
- The central government has locked down the 75 districts where coronavirus cases and deaths have been reported.
- Maharashtra has announced Section 144 across all urban areas of the state, in addition to the partial shutdown in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.
- Delhi, which had already curbed all non-essential services in the state, announced that the Delhi Metro will be shut till March 31.
- Fifteen Uttar Pradesh districts, including Lucknow, Varanasi and Kanpur, will be under lockdown till March 25 in the first phase.
- Kolkata and several areas across West Bengal will be put under lockdown from Monday 5 p.m. till March 27.
- Jammu & Kashmir, Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Odisha, Nagaland, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Gujarat,and Rajasthan have announced shutdowns as well, barring essential services.
Track latest news updates on how the coronavirus situation is evolving in India here:
Karnataka Announces Shutdown In Nine Coronavirus-Affected Districts
Karnataka government has announced shutdown of all commercial activities, barring essential services, in Bengaluru and eight other districts of the state till March 31.
All these nine districts—Bengaluru city, Bengaluru rural, Mangaluru, Mysuru, Dharwad, Kalaburagi, Chikkaballapura, Kodagu and Belagavi have reported cases of Covid-19.
"After taking stock of the coronavirus situation in the state and in neighbouring states, the chief minister has announced shutdown from tomorrow till March 31," the government said. Other than essential services like medical, grocery and agriculture, all other commercial activities will be under "shutdown".
"In these nine districts in factories where there are large number of workers, half work force should be utilised on alternate day basis, 50 percent of the labour should be used on a day," he said. Inter-district transport services from these nine districts has been cancelled till March 31.
Domestic Flights To Continue As Usual From Delhi Airport: DGCA
Minutes after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that no domestic or international flights will operate from the Delhi airport from Monday till March 31, a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said that domestic flights will operate as usual at the airport.
The Centre had announced three days ago that no international flight will be landing on Indian soil from Sunday for a period of one week.
"Domestic flights to and from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi will continue to operate and the airport will remain functional," the DGCA official said.
At a press conference Sunday evening, Kejriwal told reporters that no domestic or international flight would be allowed to arrive at the Delhi airport from March 23 to March 31. In an order, the Delhi government subsequently reiterated the same.
However, with DGCA stating that domestic flights will continue to operate at the Delhi airport, the confusion was cleared.
Andhra Pradesh Announces Lockdown Till March 31
Andhra Pradesh government has announced a complete lockdown to fight the novel coronavirus. Inter-state borders have been sealed for transport and people have been asked to step out of their homes only for essential needs.
Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy said public transport within the state and inter-state would be shut. The government itself will run with skeletal staff, with employees working in rotation basis. He also announced free ration to the poor and Rs 1,000 assistance per family.
"Situation is relatively better in AP, compared to other states," he told reporters in Amaravati, adding that six coronavirus cases had been reported so far in the state. Of the six patients, one has recovered and discharged from hospital, he added.
No Change In India Trading Hours
India’s stock exchanges will remain open despite a lockdown in Mumbai to curb spread of the coronavirus, Economic Affairs Secretary Atanu Chakraborty said in an interview.
There is no plan to curtail trading hours as of now, Chakraborty said.
Earlier, CNBC Awaaz TV channel reported that the government and the Securities and Exchange Board of India were mulling options, including shutting down bourses, as part of a government plan to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
A SEBI spokesman said markets will function at normal hours on Monday.
Supreme Court To Hear Cases Via Video Conferencing
The Supreme Court will start hearing cases via video conferencing from Monday. The lawyers will address the court from a separate room from inside the court premises.