The Delhi government on Monday banned gatherings of more than 50 persons – including ongoing protests – till March 31 in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak. Gyms, nightclubs and spas will also remain closed till that date, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced at a press conference.
Weddings will be exempted from the ban for now, but Kejriwal urged people to postpone them if possible. Shopping malls must be disinfected daily, the government said.
When asked if the anti-Citizenship Act protests going on at Shaheen Bagh since December will come under the ambit of the ban, Kejriwal said: “It will be applicable for everyone, be it protest or any other gathering.”
“Any kind of gathering – family, religious, social, political and cultural – with more than 50 people is not allowed,” Kejriwal said at a press conference.
Kejriwal added that officials have been instructed to ensure that soap and water are available at all public places. “Security guards of buildings should be given hand sanitisers so people use them while entering and leaving,” he said.
The Delhi chief minister said that the cooperation of citizens is important for the government’s efforts to succeed.
The Delhi government has already closed all schools and colleges and cinema halls in the city till March 31.
Seven cases of the novel coronavirus, including one death, have been reported from Delhi. Kejriwal announced that two people have recovered from the virus, while four are still in hospital.
Apart from Delhi, Maharashtra has also closed down public places in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus. Maharashtra has reported 37 cases, which is currently the most out of all states in India.
The total number of coronavirus cases in India has risen to 110, the Union Health Ministry announced on Sunday.
On Monday, Odisha reported its first positive case. The patient has a travel history to Italy, the worst affected country by the pandemic after China. The government is yet to confirm the case.
The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has killed more than 6,400 worldwide, according to an estimate from John Hopkins University, which is tracking cases reported by the World Health Organization and additional sources.