The Centre on Sunday ordered state governments to issue appropriate orders to allow only essential services to operate in 80 districts of India that have reported confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths. It added that the state governments can expand the list depending on their assessment of the situation.
The Union Health Ministry has so far confirmed 324 coronavirus cases in the country. Two more people with COVID-19 – one in Mumbai and other Bihar – died today, taking the toll in India to six. However, the country’s testing agency for coronavirus, Indian Council of Medical Research, said the number of confirmed cases were 341.
The government also announced that trains, metros and interstate buses across the country will not run till March 31. “In view of the need to contain the spread of COVID-19, it was agreed that there is urgent need to extend the restrictions on the movement of non-essential passenger transport including inter-state transport buses till March 31,” a statement said.
The decisions have been taken at a high level meeting attended by chief secretaries of all states and the Cabinet secretary and the principal secretary to the prime minister.
As part of efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, the Indian Railways has announced the cancellation of all train services, barring goods train, till March 31. India is currently observing a nationwide 14-hour shutdown or “janata curfew” recommended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.