Telangana announces lock-down till March 31

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on March 22, 2020

Telangana Chief Minister and TRS Supremo K Chandrasekhar Rao   -  PTI

With five more positive Covid-19 cases reported on Sunday, the Telangana Government has announced the lockdown of the State till March 31. All public and private transport services will be stalled. Only one per family will be allowed to go out to fetch groceries and other essential things.

It directed all the public and private entities to pay full salaries for contract and other employees that they employed for the entire duration of the lockdown period. The Secretariat staff would work in turns, in smaller chunks.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who extended the 14-hour shut-down by 10 more hours, exempted emergency and essential services from the shut-down. However, some staff in a few IT firms complained that they were summoned to the offices and were made to work. Apartment buildings and gated communities locked their main entrances, not allowing the vehicular movements.

The State invoked the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 (Act 3 of 1897) to enforce the lockdown across the State.

In order to take care of the poor and the needy, the State will distribute 12 kg of rice and ₹1,500 in cash to buy other groceries for each of the 87.59-lakh white card holders in the State. The State will release 3.36-lakh tonne of rice worth ₹1,103 crore and ₹1,314 crore for the cash disbursements.

Announcing these measures here on Sunday, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao appealed to the people to stay home and not to venture out. “No gathering of more than five people will be allowed on the roads. We have sanctioned the money out of the Budgetary allocations,” he said.

Terming Covid-19 as a serious crisis, he appealed to those returned from abroad after March 1 to report to the government officials.

The State has begun enumeration of all pregnant women and would take care of their health and deliveries.

Five more cases

Meanwhile, the number of novel coronavirus cases shot up to 27 on Sunday with five more people — all returned from abroad — testing positive.

“Two who returned from London, two from Dubai and one from Scotland tested positive. They have been quarantined and are doing well. All but one positive case came from abroad,” he said.

Borders closed

He said all the borders would be closed immediately. All public and private vehicles would be stopped at the borders. Goods vehicles, however, would be allowed to move.

Published on March 22, 2020

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