Coronavirus: The day’s spike was 81 – a shade above Saturday’s 79, said the Indian Council of Medical Research
– The government has advised states to enforce social distancing
– Railways has cancelled more than 3,000 trains and relaxed refund rules
– Rajasthan last night ordered a “full shutdown” until March 31
The coronavirus cases across the country took another huge jump on Sunday, touching 396 by 6 pm. The day’s spike was 81 – a shade above Saturday’s 79, said the Indian Council of Medical Research, the country’s nodal agency for COVID-19 testing. As the numbers spiked, the government tightened safety measures, shutting down passenger train service, including suburban trains. Metro services shut too. After Punjab and Rajasthan, Delhi and Arunachal Pradesh announced complete lockdown that halted public transport and all but essential goods and services. Bengal and Gujarat have announced partial lockdowns. Parliament will also adjourn on Monday after the finance bill is passed, sources told NDTV.
- A 38-year-old man died at the Patna AIIMS who recently returned from Qatar, Bihar health secretary Sanjay Kumar said. Though the cause of death was renal failure, the man was COVID-19 positive, he added. One more death was reported from Mumbai. The patient, who was 63 years old, died of acute respiratory distress syndrome.
- Delhi was placed under lockdown till March 31, shutting down public transport, sealing borders and closing shops. Metro will stop services till Mach 31. The Delhi Police have imposed prohibitory orders across the city, banning gatherings of more than four people — a rule that’s expected to affect the anti-citizenship law protests happening in the city.
- The essential services that would remain open includes shops selling grocery, fruit and vegetables, milk, cooking gas supplies, telecom services, home-delivery of food, banks and ATMs, hospitals and pharmacies and 25 per cent buses of the Delhi Transport Corporation. Only people working for essential services will be allowed to use private transport.
- The aviation regulator, DGCA countered Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s announcement suspending flights from the Delhi airport, saying domestic flights in and out of Delhi were not banned.
- The railway board decided to stop the passenger train services and continue only with goods trains. The decision came after 12 passengers who travelled in trains on March 13 and 16 were found to be COVID-positive later.
- Most states have decided to continue with the day-long “Janata curfew” at least overnight. The idea was to avoid crowds and practice social distancing – the only means of beating the virus.
- Still, in a few pockets, people were seen gathering on streets and parks at 5 pm to show appreciation for those fighting COVID-19 by clapping and beating thalis – a process the Prime Minister suggested should be carried out from home. Photos and videos circulating online suggested that in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, a few policemen led one such procession.
- Punjab and Rajasthan have ordered a “full shutdown” until March 31, suspending all public transport and closing malls and shops. Goa, one of India’s most popular holiday destinations, has shut down its borders to mass passengers and tourist vehicles.
- Gujarat has announced a lockdown for four cities, Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, and Vadodara, until Wednesday. Only shops selling essentials like vegetables, dairy products, and medical items will remain open.
- Bengal has also opted for a partial lockdown, announcing restrictions in all the urban areas of the state from 5 pm, Monday, to March 28 midnight. While a complete transport lockdown across the state has been announced, six districts have been totally shut to check the spread of the virus. Those who violate the shutdown may face arrest, authorities said.
(This story has not been edited by Kashmir Today staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)