The decisions have been taken at a high-level meeting attended by chief secretaries of all states and the cabinet secretary and the principal secretary to the prime minister. (Photo Credit: ANI)
The Government of Indian has decided to completely shutdown75 districts across the country where coronavirus cases have been reported, Union Health Ministry officials said on Sunday. The officials asked all the state government to ensure that the poor don't face problems in these districts during lockdown. The decisions have been taken at a high-level meeting attended by chief secretaries of all states and the cabinet secretary and the principal secretary to the prime minister.
In view of the need to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19, it was agreed that there was an urgent need to extend the restrictions on the movement of non-essential passenger transport, including interstate transport buses till March 31, a Union Home Ministry official said.
“To break the chain of transmission, the easiest method is to isolate the people coming from outside. The virus is not present in the air, it can be transmitted through droplets released,” Indian Council of Medical Research Director-General Balram Bhargava said.
The districts where lockdown was announced are from states that include Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Kerala.
It was noted that several state governments have already issued orders in this regard. All the chief secretaries informed that there was overwhelming and spontaneous response to the call for 'Janata curfew' given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The state governments may expand the list depending on their assessment of the situation.
In the meeting, it was decided to suspend all train services till March 31, including sub-urban rail services. However, goods trains are exempted. All metro rail services were also suspended till March 31.
The total number of novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 341 on Sunday after fresh cases were reported from various parts of the country, the Union Health Ministry said.
Millions of people across the country stayed indoors, streets wore a deserted look and bare number of vehicles were on the road on Sunday in an unprecedented shutdown on Modi's appeal for a 'Janata curfew' to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed over 13,000 lives worldwide.
With PTI Inputs