80 cities spread across 22 Indian states and union territories have gone into lockdown starting Monday morning to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Prominent cities among them are Delhi and its adjoining cities Noida and Gurgaon, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru. All these cities have reported positive cases of coronavirus.
Announcing the lockdown in the national capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Delhi will be under lockdown from tomorrow 6 AM until 31st March. Certain exceptions have been made to ensure essential items are available for purchase and basic services continue to operate.”
Cities going into lockdown are Prakasam, Vijaywada and Vizag in Andhra Pradesh, all seven districts of Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat, Panchkula and Panipat in Haryana, Chandigarh, Noida, Lucknow, Agra, Ghaziabad, Varanasi and Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, Dehradun in Uttarakhand, Bangalore, Chikkaballapura, Mysore, Kodagu, and Kalaburagi in Karnataka, Kutch, Rajkot, Gandhinagar, Surat, Vadodara and Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Srinagar and Jammu in Jammu and Kashmir, Kargil and Leh in Ladakh, Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, Hoshiarpur, SAS Nagar and SBS Nagar in Punjab, Bhilwara, Jhunjhunu, Sikar and Jaipur in Rajasthan, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, Raipur in Chhattisgarh, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Mumbai, Nagpur, Mumbai suburb, Pune, Ratnagiri, Raigad, Thane, Yavatmal in Maharashtra, Khurda in Odisha, Kolkata and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Iduki, Kannur, Kasargod, Kottayam, Mallapuram, Pathanamthitta, Thiruvanthpuram and Thrissur in Kerala, Mahe in Puducherry, Chennai, Erode and Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu and Bhadradri, Kothagudem, Hyderabad, Medchai, Ranga Reddy and Sanga Reddy in Telangana.
Restrictions and Exemptions
Except for essential services, all government offices, educational institutes, autonomous bodies, business establishments, private offices, malls, shops, factories, godowns and public transport will remain closed. Essential services mean medical, health and family welfare, medical education, home, intelligence/prison administration, police/armed force and para-military forces, personnel department and district administration, energy, urban development, food and civil supplies, disaster relief, fire services, civil defence, information, emergency services, telephone, internet, network services and IT-enabled services.
A report by news agency PTI said that postal services, banks, ATMs, insurance companies, e-commerce, print, electronic and social media, petrol pumps, LPG gas, oil agencies, medicines shops, medical equipment shops and medicine producing units, units related to agriculture production and animal fodder too have been classified as essential services.
As for Delhi, Kejriwal said that no public transport will operate during the lockdown period and Delhi’s borders will be sealed but the essential services related to health, food, water and power supply will continue.
Dairies, grocery shops, chemists and petrol pumps will remain open but persons associated with essential services will be allowed to go to their destinations during the lockdown.
The Karnataka government too has said that it will allow groceries, food, milk, fish, meat and vegetables.
The latest lockdown comes a day after India observed Janta Curfew between 7 AM and 9 PM as directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India has recorded 350 cases of coronavirus and seven deaths. The WHO has already declared the outbreak of the virus as a global pandemic.