The Haryana government on Thursday decided to completely seal all its borders with Delhi, except for passage of essential services, NDTV reported. Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij made the announcement.

Vij said coronavirus cases have been rising in districts of Haryana bordering Delhi. “The main reason behind the spike in cases is the entry of people from Delhi into areas of Haryana which share its border with Delhi,” he told reporters. Vij said that last week, Faridabad reported 98 cases, Jhajjar six cases, Sonipat reported 27 and Gurugram 111 cases.

However, the minister said that the interstate border with Delhi will remain open for those activities which the Centre has permitted under the guidelines it has published for the fourth phase of the lockdown. The fourth phase began on May 18 and will end on May 31.

On May 15, the Manohar Lal Khattar-led government gave an undertaking in the Delhi High Court that it would allow movement of people engaged in essential services, including frontline health workers, between the state and Delhi. The state government’s assurance came after the court asked it to remove travel restrictions imposed on its border with Delhi.

The court’s order came on a petition that said the state government was not allowing the movement of doctors, nurses, paramedics, sanitation workers and the staff of Delhi Police, Delhi Transport Corporation, Delhi Jal Board, municipal corporations and courts between Haryana and the national Capital.

Haryana had sealed its border with Delhi last month and allowed access only to essential service providers. The government’s order came after state Health Minister Anil Vij said the people who worked in Delhi and stayed in Haryana had become “corona-carriers”.

The state has reported 1,381 cases of the coronavirus as of Thursday, including 18 deaths, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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