India came together on Sunday intensifying its battle against spread of the coronavirus to the stage-III 3 of community transmission, while taking more measures such as lockdown of 75 districts to flatten the curve of virus coronavirus infection rates.
The entire nation overwhelmingly responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for ‘Janata Curfew’ on Sunday, staying indoors in their resolve to fight the coronavirus pandemic and break the chain of transmission.
Streets wore a deserted look and minimal number of vehicles were on the roads as majority of Indians took a step back to adopt “social distancing”.
Confirmed cases rise to 391
As of Sunday evening, the total number of novel coronavirus cases confirmed in India rose to 391of which 24 are cured and 7 have died.
’Janta Curfew’ just the beginning of a long battle against coronavirus: PM Modi
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra gGovernment of Sunday afternoon announced complete suspensions of trains and bus services in the Sstate. Only in city areas, buses will operate for carrying emergency goods and personnel. In all residential areas, Section 144 has been imposed from Sunday midnight said, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray. The Chief Minister said that the lockdown situation would be reviewed after March 31 and if required it will continue.
At 5 pm on Sunday, people across from all over the country came out of their homes to salute the rReal heroes — medical professionals (doctors and nurses), healthcare workers and those service providers who are providing essential services in the current fight against cCoronavirus.
Millions of people came out to also laud efforts of the Railway personnel and those in airports and airlines industry, —especially Air India which flew back Indians stranded abroad.
No passenger trains
In view of the increasing number of coronavirus patients, The Indian Railways —one of the world’s busiest urban rail systems —on Sunday has announced that all passenger trains will not operate till March 31. However, there will be no stoppage of goods trains, according to a Railways statement.
Meanwhile, the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry issued directions to all Metro rail corporations/ companies across the country asking them to suspend services on all operational networks till March 31.
Also, all inter-State bus services have been suspended across the country till March 31.
Lockdown in 75 districts
As many as 75 virus-hit districts where coronavirus cases were reported have been completely locked down as part of efforts to check the spread of coronavirus. This decision was taken at a high-level meeting of Chief Secretaries of all States and the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister here on Sunday.
With the lockdown instruction, States gGovernments will issue orders allowing only essential services to operate in these 75 districts with confirmed CovidCOVID-19 cases, according to Union Home Ministry.
The districts where lockdown was announced are from States that include Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, West Bengal, Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan.
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said that lockdown of districts is the most essential thing for breaking the community transmission of the virus.
Currently, 10 of 22 States have 274 (70 per cent) of all 391 COVID-19 confirmed cases of India —Maharashtra (64), Kerala (45), Delhi (28), Uttar Pradesh (26), Rajasthan (22), Karnataka (26), Gujarat (18), Punjab (21), Ladakh (13) and Telangana (11).
Currently, 10 of 22 states have 247 of all 353 COVID-19 confirmed cases of India —Maharashtra (60), Kerala (45), Delhi (26), Uttar Pradesh (24), Rajasthan (22), Karnataka (20), Gujarat (14), Punjab (13), Ladakh (13) and Telangana (10).
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a press conference on Sunday that lockdown at Delhi will start at 6 am on Monday and end on March 31. However, dairies, grocery shops, chemists and petrol pumps will remain open.
“We know people will face difficulties, but lockdown is necessary to contain spread of coronavirus. Delhi’s borders will be sealed during lockdown but will ensure people providing essential services do not face difficulties”, he said.
Delhi Police has issued the relevant Section 144 order under the. Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). This is seen as a preventive limited measure.
Meanwhile, the Government said that domestic flights to and from IGIA Delhi would continue to cooperate and the Airport would remain functional.