Delhi will be locked down in view of the growing coronavirus threat, from 6 am on March 23, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced at a joint press conference with Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Sunday.
The lockdown will continue till 12 midnight on March 31, Kejriwal said.
During the lockdown, no public transport will operate and Delhi's borders will be sealed but the essential services related to health, food, water and power supply will continue, he said.
“We know people will face difficulties, but lockdown is necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus,” the chief minister said.
Kejriwal on Saturday announced several measures to ameliorate the hardships the poor are about to face as economic activity declines in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Delhi government will distribute free rationfor the month of April to 7.2 million beneficiaries or nearly 1.8 million families. The quantity of the ration under the public distribution system has also been increased by 50 per cent.
Kejriwal said the government was also doubling the monthly pension of 250,000 widows, 500,000 senior citizens and one lakh differently-abled persons. “These beneficiaries come from poor families and would get hit the hardest because of the spread of coronavirus,” Kejriwal said. Widows and the differently-abled currently get Rs 2,500, and senior citizens get Rs 2,000, while those above 70 get Rs 2,500 as pension. Moreover, the Delhi CM announced that all homeless will be given free food, lunch and dinner at night shelters run by the state government.