India reported its fourth coronavirus death on Thursday while the total COVID-19 cases rose to atleast 173, as India banned landing of all international commercial passenger flights from March 22 for a week, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to stay indoors and called for ‘janata curfew’ on Sunday.
Giving the details of the fourth coronavirus fatality in the country, the Union health ministry said the person, who died in Punjab, was an elderly and had co-morbid conditions like diabetes, cardiac ailments.
There were more than 20 fresh cases in last 24 hours with Chhattisgarh and Chandigarh reporting their first COVID-19 patients on early Thursday.
As the virus continued to spread its tentacles across India, several parts, including Kashmir valley headed towards a virtual lockdown with the administration restricting movement of people in several parts and banning all public transport in Srinagar city.
Punjab and the national capital also inched towards virtual shutdown.
While the Punjab government announced suspension of public transport services from Friday midnight and restricting public gatherings to less than 20 besides deciding to close down marriage palaces, hotels, restaurants, banquets and dining places, except home delivery services and takeaways in the entire state. The Kejriwal government in Delhi also announced shutting down of restaurants but said that takeaway and home delivery services will continue.
“Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has asked all government departments, autonomous bodies and PSUs to segregate activities and suspend non-essential services," Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a press conference.
Non-essential government services will be discontinued from Friday, he added.
As part of its efforts to detect and prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has claimed over 8,000 lives globally and infected more than two lakh, the government banned all international commercial passenger aircraft from landing in the country from March 22 to March 29.
Moreover, the Central government has requested states to enforce work for home for private sector employees, except for those working in emergency and essential services.
"State governments shall issue appropriate directions so that all citizens above 65 (other than for medical assistance) except for public representatives or government servants or medical professionals are advised to remain at home," the government statement noted.
“Similarly, all children below 10 should be advised to stay at home and not to venture out,” it added.
Meanwhile, the government said one Indian national infected with coronavirus in Iran has died, the first death of an Indian outside the country due to the pandemic.
Other Indian citizens infected with the disease in Iran are being provided treatment and taken care of by the Iranian government, the government said.
Asked whether any Indian infected with coronavirus has died in Iran, Dammu Ravi, Additional Secretary in the MEA and the coordinator for COVID-19, answered in the affirmative. He said the deceased was an elderly person aged over 70 years and had health-related complications.
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