India on Monday intensified its efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, and announced a complete shutdown in 30 states and Union Territories, covering 548 districts, reported PTI. Four other states and Union Territories have imposed partial lockdowns.
The Union Ministry of Health has confirmed 492 cases in the country so far, while the toll is 10, as of 1 pm on Tuesday.
“Three states/UTs have imposed lockdown in certain areas of their territories,” a government release said. “One UT has imposed closure of some activities in their areas.”
States/Union Territories that are part of the lockdown:
- Jammu and Kashmir.
- West Bengal.
- Arunachal Pradesh.
- Himachal Pradesh.
- Andhra Pradesh.
- Tamil Nadu.
- Daman Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
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The three states where lockdown has been imposed in some districts are – Odisha (five), Uttar Pradesh (16), Madhya Pradesh (37). Partial lockdown was also ordered in Lakshadweep with curbs on certain activities.
On Monday, the Centre announced that all domestic flights would be suspended from Wednesday. International flights to India have already been banned. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation told airlines to ensure that passengers sit on alternate seats till Wednesday, to enforce social distancing.
Maharashtra, Punjab and Chandigarh, which had issued orders for lockdowns, imposed curfews. Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and a Punjab government official said people had not been heeding lockdown orders.
Maharashtra and Kerala are the two worst-affected states in India at the moment. Kerala reported 28 more infections on Monday, out of which 25 people had recently returned from Dubai. This took Kerala’s count to 94, of whom three have been discharged. Maharashtra also reported a surge in cases, taking its count to 97.
The Union Home Ministry also took note of racial attacks on people from Northeastern states, after a spate of such incidents, and asked states to take action against those accused. The Indian Council of Medical Research authorised physicians to use the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a potentially preventive measure for asymptomatic people closely working with patients infected with Covid-19. The drug will be only given to asymptomatic healthcare workers who are involved in the treatment of suspected or confirmed patients of Covid-19, and household contacts who are looking after people who tested positive.