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Day 1 of COVID-19 lockdown in India — here’s what’s happening in your state

Punjab imposes state-wide curfew, other states crack down on people violating lockdown. Essential services personnel being allowed after ID checks.

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New Delhi: Almost the whole of India has gone into a lockdown Monday to stem the spread of COVID-19, with severe restrictions on transport, especially inter-city and inter-state, throwing life out of gear.

The national capital, where Section 144 has been imposed (making the assembly of people unlawful), has closed all its borders, with only vehicles of those engaged in essential services being allowed to come in; that too, after proper verification.

While a number of cities have suspended Uber and Ola cab services, along with metro and local trains, some are allowing it for those engaged in essential services.

ThePrint takes a state-wise look at the first day of the coronavirus lockdown.

Delhi

The roads were quite empty, with a large percentage of the population deciding to stay home.

Central Delhi, which is usually very crowded, saw reduced traffic. However, there were many waiting at bus stops, hoping they would be able to take public transport. Given that only those covered under essential services are allowed to commute by DTC buses, it was not an easy situation, even for those carrying their ID cards.

With police having put barricades at several border transit points, people from satellite cities like Noida and Gurgaon faced a lot of trouble to get in.

No public taxis were seen on the roads either, and Uber and Ola services are also not allowed. The Delhi government has said it is looking at how to allow those engaged in essential services to use these aggregators.

At Rajpath, where several residents of central Delhi go for their morning walks, far fewer people could be spotted. Several other congested areas, including Connaught Place, were quite empty and restaurants were shut. Many shops had put up notes stating they would remain closed until 31 March.

However, shops selling essential items like groceries, milk and vegetables remained open.


Also read: WHO megatrials and chest CTs for asymptomatic people — top 5 developments on COVID-19


Uttar Pradesh

The state government has put 15 districts under lockdown, and has closed borders, banned public gatherings, shut public transport, and suspended non-essential services until 25 March.

Officials say police, medical services, banks, ATMs, power and water, fire services, e-commerce, animal feed, food (fruits, vegetables and groceries), telecom, post offices, and petrol and CNG pump services will not be disrupted.

In NCR, the Noida police sealed the borders with Delhi and neighbouring districts of Ghaziabad, Hapur, Bulandshahr and Faridabad (Haryana). All expressways are closed.

After the request from the administration, the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protest in Lucknow was suspended Monday. The women protestors have submitted a letter to the Lucknow police commissioner, saying they are suspending their 66-day-long protest against temporarily due to the coronavirus.

Punjab

The Punjab government has announced full curfew in the state, with no relaxation. The decision was announced Monday afternoon, after a review of the situation in the state, following the complete lockdown orders issued Sunday.

This means a complete clampdown on every activity in the state, including the closure of all shops, including those providing essential goods like groceries and medicines. All services allowed during the lockdown, including banks and ATMs etc too have been withdrawn. No movement of any person outside the house is allowed during a curfew.

Sources in the government said reports of non-compliance received from various parts of the state forced it to go in for a curfew.

There was only partial compliance in the state Monday morning, with many factories in Ludhiana found to be open. There seemed to be hardly any change in traffic in some towns. The police had to resort to taking out processions in the cities, asking people to get back into their houses.

The state’s deputy commissioners (district administration heads) have been asked to issue curfew orders. The government has said that any person required to be given relaxation will be allowed specifically for a given period and purpose.

The last time a full state-wide curfew was imposed in Punjab was during militancy in the 1980s and 1990s. The total number of coronavirus-positive cases in the state is 23, including one death.

The government has also announced a slew of relief measures — Rs 20 crore has been sanctioned for food, shelter and medicines from the CM’s relief fund. The CM has also announced deferment of payment of electricity, sewerage and water bills. The cooperation department has decided to waive off penal interest on farmers’ loans from central cooperative banks and primary agriculture cooperative societies for two months (March-April 2020).

The CM has also ordered the social security department to release pensions amounting to Rs 150 crore for March 2020 immediately. The labour department has already decided to provide financial assistance of Rs 300 to over three lakh registered construction workers.


Also read: Ticking ‘time bomb’: Study predicted re-emergence of ‘SARS-like virus’ 13 years ago


Chhattisgarh

The state government has announced a complete lockdown until 31 March, and said legal action will be taken against those found guilty of violating the order, following a central advisory Monday.

The government order has stated that all offices, institutions, transport, services and other listed activities will be stopped during this period.

However essential services such as medical shops, general stores and petrol pumps will be open, and vegetables, milk and groceries shall remain available.

Electricity, water and domestic gas supply services, municipal cleaning, waste disposal and commercial transport of essential commodities will also continue to function as before.

Reports pouring in to state capital Raipur said the police have begun a crackdown on people who have moved out of their homes, and were roaming on the roads and other public places without any valid reasons.

West Bengal

The lockdown in the state comes into effect from 5 pm Monday.

Karnataka

A day after the ‘janata curfew’, life seemed to be slipping back to normal in Karnataka.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa announced that the budget session of the assembly would continue until 27 March, as the government does not want to create panic by calling it off.

Markets are open and regular traffic is seen on the streets of Bengaluru.

IT companies have been advised to allow their employees to work from home. However, those companies providing back-end IT support for essential services are working from their offices.


Also read: Prime Ministers, cabinet ministers, officials and advisors – coronavirus spreads though corridors of power


Kerala

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan is said to have held an emergency meeting to decide on a clampdown in the state. Kerala has reported 67 COVID-19 cases so far, and there is pressure on the government to seal its borders and restrict movement to curb the outbreak.

The Kerala chapter of the Indian Medical Association has impressed upon the state government that it is imperative to go in for a complete lockdown.

Inter-city transport continues as normal.

Andhra Pradesh

Amid the complete lockdown announced Sunday, essential services are functioning and people are being advised to remain indoors as much as possible.

The government has asked volunteers to go door-to-door and explain to residents the importance of keeping themselves sanitised, and how to ensure there is no community spread. This has been taken as an extension of the ‘janata curfew’.

Telangana

The state government announced it was sealing its borders due to the rising number of cases in the state.

The ‘janata curfew’ was followed, but the government has now decided to lock down the state and impose Section 144 in certain districts that have been affected.

Tamil Nadu

Life is slipping back to normal in Tamil Nadu after Sunday’s ‘janata curfew’. While major markets have been opened to ensure supply of essential commodities, in areas where public gatherings are possible, announcements are being made asking people to disperse.

Beaches have been made off-limits for the public, but the state is yet to announce a complete lockdown.

(With inputs from Aneesha Bedi, Chitleen K. Sethi, Madhuparna Das, Prashant Srivastava, Prithviraj Singh, Rohini Swamy and Snehesh Alex Philip)


Also read: Amitabh Bachchan tweets, then deletes fake information on COVID-19


(This report has been updated with Punjab’s fresh figure for the number of positive cases)

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I came to Surat, Gujarat from Mumbai with family in a my own car before lockdown/janta curfew to attend a family occasion. I am now stuck in a hotel in highway in Gujarat. can i travel back to Mumbai in my car to my home ? Family of 4 with 12 yr old kid and mother who is on medication and is 65. We have only readymade food, biscuit etc to eat and survive. Would really appreciate if Can somebody can provide any help. Thanks

  2. #### Why No Report on Odisha??? Odisha is going through Major lockdown till 29 March.. Does print has any reporter who cover odisha??

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