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Coronavirus: Haryana extends lockdown to entire state

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

The Haryana government on Monday announced it will put the entire state under lockdown till March 31 as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Seven districts of the state were put under lockdown on Monday while the order in the remaining 15 districts will be effective from Tuesday midnight.

The state government has also announced special financial assistance for people in Below Poverty Line category and low income groups like daily wagers, labourers, street vendors and construction workers.

This will cost the state government nearly Rs 1,200 crore per month, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said.

The humanitarian measures were taken to ensure that these people do not face any difficulty in meeting their daily needs during the lockdown, he told reporters in a digital conference. "We had ordered lockdown in seven districts as part of the containment measures. We have now decided that in addition, this lockdown will be enforced in the remaining 15 districts of the state also from March 24," Khattar said. He said inter-state borders will remain sealed and the inter-state bus services too will remain suspended, though all essential and emergency services will be operational. He said section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed in the state prohibiting the assembly of five or more persons at any place. Those violating the lockdown will invite punishment under law, he warned. The Khattar government had on Sunday announced lockdown for the state's seven districts -- Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat, Panipat, Jhajjar, Rohtak and Panchkula. The lockdown in the seven districts came into effect at 9 pm on Sunday. Now, the entire state will be locked down till the March 31, Khattar said, adding that the situation will be reviewed at the end of the month. Need for imposing curfew was not felt at the moment, he said in response to neighbouring Punjab imposing it as part of strict containment measures to fight COVID-19.

Later in the day, he presided over a meeting with senior party leaders and those from the opposition and called for unity to fight the pandemic.

As part of relief measures, the chief minister also announced setting up of a Haryana Corona Relief Fund (HCRF) and appealed to people to make voluntary donations, as he himself contributed Rs 5 lakh from his personal account. The money will be used to mitigate hardship of those affected by the Covid-19 spread. Enlisting measures for the poor, he said all BPL families will be provided their monthly rations for the month of April free of cost while all government school children and those enrolled with anganwadis will be given dry rations for the period the schools and anganwadis stay closed.

Those registered with has he Haryana Board of Construction Workers but have not registered under Mukhya Mantri Parivar Samriddhi scheme will be provided a sum of Rs 4,500 per month on weekly basis starting March 30. The sum will be credited directly to their bank accounts, he said.

All BPL families who have not registered under MMPSY will be provided a sum of Rs 4,500 per month on weekly basis starting March 30. Daily wagers, including labourers and street vendors, may register with the deputy commissioner of the district on a portal that will be established by March 27, Khattar said, adding all such persons, found eligible and having a bank account, will be directly provided an assistance of Rs 1,000 per week. All coronavirus patients, if requiring hospitalisation, will be admitted free of cost. So far, 14 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the state, he said. All health and frontline workers, engaged in curbing the coronavirus spread, will be provided accident insurance of Rs 10 lakh, he said. A special package for agriculture and farmers will be announced by the government by March 28, he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 22:52 IST