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COVID-19: Lockdown begins in T'gana; cases mount to 33

Press Trust of India  |  Hyderabad 

A day after announcing lockdown

till March 31 to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Telangana government on Monday said it would strictly enforce the restrictions and asked people not to venture on to the roads from 7 PM to 6 AM, even as total number of cases in the state mounted to 33 with six fresh ones being reported.

Of the six cases, five people are foreign-returnees, while the other one is a 23-year-old man from Karimnagar who moved closely with a group of 10 Indonesians that tested positive for the virus earlier, according to a media bulletin on coronavirus.

It said "containment process" (measures to prevent the spread of virus) has been initiated in places where confirmed cases have been reported.

The state is exploring the possibilityof going in for fever surveillance in the state, the bulletin said.

State Health Minister E Rajender said there has been no casualty due to COVID-19 inTelangana and that no patient had to be put on ventilator.

All patients are getting cured, he said.

According to him, the number of suspected cases with the government was 97.

Expressing anger over foreign returnees, who are supposed to be in home quarantine, going out, Rajender said legal action would be taken against such people.

According to a fresh Government Order (GO), no movement of any person shall be permitted for any purpose other than accessing emergency medical care, from 7 PM every evening to 6 AM the following day.

No shop/establishment except hospitals and pharmacies will be allowed to operate after 6.30 PM, it said.

Residents should procure essential goods and services from shops and establishments located within a radius of not more than three km from their residence, the GO said.

Temporary police check-posts would be set up at suitable locations to ensure strict compliance with lockdown orders, it said.

State DGP Mahender Reddy said vehicles caught for repeated violations would be seized in the interest of public health and they would returned after the lockdown period.

He also said criminal cases would be registered against repeated violators of rules.

According to another Government Order which notified the lockdown, all state borders shall be sealed other than for movement of essential commodities.

All public transport services, including state-run buses, Hyderabad Metro, taxis and autorickshaws, will not be permitted.

However, transport of passengers for accessing emergency medical services shall be permitted.

Every person who is required to observe home quarantine shall strictly observe it failing which he/she will be liable for penal action and shifted to government quarantine, the GO said.

The GO excluded Banks/ATMs and related activities, Print and electronic media, IT and ITeS, including telecom, postal and internet Services and sale of food items, groceries, milk, vegetables, eggs and others from the restrictions.

As the lockdown began on Monday morning, after the end of 24-hour 'Janta curfew' called by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar beginning Sunday morning, common citizens rushed to procure vegetables and other essential commodities.

The vegetables are sold at higher prices, several people complained at the Erragadda 'Rythu Bazar' (government- run vegetable markets) in the city.

About complaints of vegetables being sold for higher prices, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar said the government monitors the situation and takes appropriate action.

Meanwhile, police conducted checks at all important locations to educate citizens on the importance of lockdown and to discourage them from unnecessarily venturing out on roads.

They also warned that vehicles of those people, who venture on to streets without valid reason and supporting documents, will be seized.

DGP Mahendar Reddy along with other senior police officials visited the historic Charminar and oversaw arrangements in view of lockdown and "night curfew.

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

First Published: Mon, March 23 2020. 21:42 IST