India reports fourth coronavirus death in Punjab (Photo Credit: IANS)
India reported the fourth novel coronavirus death on Thursday, said Union Health Ministry. The 72-year-old COVID-19 patient hailed from Punjab. “The total number of positive cases of COVID-19 in India stands at 167 (including 25 foreigners), 4 deaths (1 each) in Delhi, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra,” Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.
In an effort to reduce crowding, the Punjab government has decided to ban the public transportation system with effect from March 21. The government has also limited public gathering to 20 from the existing 50. Indigo also announced a pay cut for all its employees. The aviation sector has been hit extremely hard as most airlines globally have drastically curtailed their flight operations.
The Punjab government on Thursday announced suspension of public transport services from Friday midnight, besides restricting public gatherings to less than 20, in the state, inching closer to a shutdown amid the global outbreak of coronavirus.
It has also decided to shut marriage palaces, hotels, restaurants, banquets and dining places, except home delivery services and takeaways in the entire state.
“Public transport buses, tempos and auto rickshaws will be suspended from the midnight of Friday,” Local Bodies minister Brahm Mohindra.
These decisions were taken in a meeting of the seven-member Group of Ministers (GoM), formed by the Punjab government to review the situation triggered by the coronavirus outbreak on a daily basis.
The GoM also decided to restrict the public gathering to 20. Earlier, it was restricted to 50 people.
The minister further said the public dealing in the government offices will also be restricted. He further said the exams of classes 10 and 12 of the Punjab School Education Board have been postponed till March 31.
All commissioners, deputy commissioners, senior superintendent of police have been directed not to leave their stations, said the minister.
“The government is ready to deal with any eventuality,” he further said, adding that the number of isolation wards would also be increased in hospitals.