Coronavirus Pandemic | 30 States, Union Territories Covering 548 Districts Impose Complete Lockdown (Photo Credit: File Image)
In an unprecedented move, the Union government on Monday announced complete lockdown of 30 states and union territories covering more than 500 districts. This came after India recorded ninth death due to the highly contagious coronavirus. As per the latest reports, overall 471 people have tested positive for the virus in the country -- 75 of them in the last 24 hours. Earlier today, states like Tripura, Nagaland, West Bengal, Manipur announced complete lockdown to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
On Monday, two persons have died, one in Bengal and the other in Himachal Pradesh. The Centre tightened its clampdown with a ban on domestic flights and warned of legal action against rule-breakers.
Punjab, which had thousands of expats heading for home, declared curfew. So did Maharashtra, which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, earlier today, expressed his displeasure over people not adhering to the norms of lockdown. He took to the Twitter and wrote, "Many people are still not taking the lockdown seriously. Please save yourself, save your family, follow the instructions seriously. I request state governments to ensure rules and laws are followed." The state governments have been asked to take legal action against those found violating lockdown orders.
To contain the further spread of novel coronavirus, the Civil Aviation Ministry on Monday announced that the all domestic commercial flights will be stopped indefinitely from midnight tomorrow (11.59PM/March 24). However, the ministry further added that the cargo services have been exempted from the restrictions. Earlier today, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote to PM Narendra Modi for instructions to stop all incoming flights to the state. The state government has taken all steps to counter the spread of the virus, but is seriously concerned that the government of India is still allowing operation of flights, which is "a huge breach of shutdown and quarantine protocol", says Banerjee's letter to Modi.
The letter requests Modi govt to issue "necessary instructions to stop all flights coming to West Bengal with immediate effect", so that the source of the infection is effectively contained and "lockdown in the state is implemented in true letter and spirit". Meanwhile, it was announced that Kolkata and several other areas across Bengal will be under lockdown from Monday 5 pm to March 27.