Many Indian states woke up on Monday to a slew of measures to restrict the spread of novel coronavirus that has infected as many as 415 and has claimed seven lives in the country, as on Monday.
Arunachal Pradesh, along with Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, among others joined the list of states that have imposed a lockdown in the state till March 31.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday announced statewide restrictions from 6 pm on March 24. According to reports, Section 144 will be imposed in the state to ensure there is no large Assembly of people. All the district borders within the states will be closed.
In a tweet, Dr. C Vijayabaskar, Tamil Nadu’s Minister for Health and Family Welfare, urged the public to extend full cooperation during these challenging times.
Only essential supplies like medicines, food grains, vegetables will be available to people in these states, and others that have imposed lockdown.
The Centre had announced on Sunday a complete lockdown of 75 districts in 22 states and union territories and suspended all passenger trains, inter-state buses and metro services across the country till March 31.
On Monday, it declared that the states would “strictly enforce lockdown” and asked for legal action against those who violated the restriction, according to NDTV. Those who are found to violate the lockdown orders are reportedly to face six months of jail or a fine of Rs 1,000 under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
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Punjab First To Impose Curfew, Puducherry Follows
The Punjab government on Monday imposed a “full curfew” in the state only a day after it announced state-wide lockdown to restrict the rising numbers of coronavirus-positive cases.
“After reviewing situation with Chief Secretary & @DGPPolicePunjab, announced full curfew with no relaxations. DCs have been asked to issue orders accordingly. Any person required to be given relaxation will be so allowed specifically for given period & purpose (sic),” Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh said in a tweet.
Making Punjab the first state to take the stringent measure, the announcement came reportedly after people defied the lockdown imposed in the state.
A statewide lockdown in the state was imposed, exempting only essential services, which was to be effective from 6 am on March 23 till 9 pm on March 31.
Only an hour later, Union Territory Puducherry also imposed curfew from 9 pm on Monday till March 31, press agency PTI tweeted.
To contain the spread of the virus, the government on Sunday had imposed Section 144 till March 31. According to The Hindu report, all vehicles including government and private buses and light motor vehicles, except essential services, will not be permitted into the union territory round the clock.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet that many people are not taking the lockdown seriously. He had urged the state governments to ensure that the directives are followed by people.
Delhi Budget 2020-21: Rs 50 Crore Set Aside To Deal With Coronavirus
In an annual budget presented in the Assembly when Delhi is under a lockdown to contain the spread of virus, the Kejriwal-led AAP government sets aside Rs. 50 crore in the 2020-21 budget to deal with coronavirus, according to the news agency PTI.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, in his budget speech, also announced that the government will provide Rs. 7,704 for the health sector in the next financial year, tweeted PTI.
Lok Sabha Adjourned Sine Die Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Nearly two weeks ahead of the schedule, Lok Sabha on Monday adjourned sine die due to the coronavirus outbreak, news agency PTI tweeted. The decision came after the passage of the Finance Bill, 2020, in the Lower House.
Rajya Sabha is expected to be similarly adjourned after completion of today’s business.
Supreme Court Order Closure Of Lawyers’ Chambers
In the wake of the growing COVID-19 scare, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde ordered on Monday to seal the lawyers’ chambers by Tuesday evening. Only important matters would be taken up via videoconferencing.
“There will be no gathering of lawyers on top court premises till further orders,” The Indian Express quoted the apex court as saying.
Delhi High Court, District Courts Suspend Functioning Till April 4
On Monday, the Delhi High Court also suspended its functioning and so did district courts till April 4 in view of the coronavirus threat.
The matters of extreme urgency will have to be mentioned before the registrar or joint registrar telephonically and hearing will take place through video conferencing, PTI reported.
The high court also said that the limitation period – period under which a suit, appeal or application has to be filed – for any court proceeding would not be considered from March 23 till April 4, 2020 subject to further orders.
Earlier, the Bar Council of Delhi had written to the Delhi High Court, urging it to consider a total shutdown till March 31, according to Bar and Bench.
AIIMS To Shutdown OPD Services Till Further Orders
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will shut down its OPD, including speciality services, and registration forms of all new and follow-up patients from March 24 till further orders, news agency PTI tweeted on Monday.
Transfer One Month’s Minimum Wage To Construction Workers, NCC-CL Demands
In the light of construction activities being suspended, as the Kejriwal-led Delhi government has imposed a lockdown in the national capital, workers’ body demanded transfer of one month’s minimum wage into the bank accounts of all those construction workers who are registered with the Delhi Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare (BOCW) Board.
The National Campaign Committee for Central Legislation on Construction Labour (NCC-CL), in a letter to the Chief Minister and Labour Minister, also urged for equal payment to the 209 pensioners’ accounts.
NCC-CL pressed that the payments must be regardless of the status of the workers’ registration with the BOCW board. According to NCC-CL, there are 10 lakh construction workers working in Delhi out of which only around half have been registered with the BOCW Board.
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