The Puducherry governmentis thinking of deploying the CRPF and India Reserve Battalion personnel here to help police ensure strict enforcement of the curfew clamped last night to contain the COVID-19 spread, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said on Tuesday.
Despite the government clamping the curfew coupled with enforcement of the Epidemic Diseases Act (EDA) and also Disaster Management Act (DMA), people were moving about and entering Puducherry from neighbouring pockets, he said.
"I am really sorry to see that people in most parts of Puducherry have not understood the seriousness of the coronavirus," he told reporters here after holding a meeting with legislators to discuss steps to intensify preventive measures against COVID-19.
Narayanasamy requested people to remain indoors and avoid coming outside.
"Isolation is the only solution to protect oneself from the onslaught of the scourge," he said.
There were instances of people violating the curfew and entering into altercation with local police at various points, the chief minister said.
"We are planning to bring in members of the CRPF and use the locally stationed IRBN to strengthen the police force to curb curfew violations," he said, adding that those violating it can be imprisoned for one year under the EDA and DMA.
Narayanasamy said all shops except medical shops and pharmacies would remain closed for four days from Wednesday.
"I appeal to the people to stock their homes with provisions, vegetables, milk and other essential commodities as no shop would be open for next four days."
He said the 700-beds in the Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital here would be used for accommodating patients showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Although curfew was clamped in Puducherry since last night till March 31 to prevent people's movement to contain the spread of the virus, one could see movement of two-wheeler riders outside the boulevard limits here on Tuesday.
There were also people from adjoining suburban areas trying to enter Puducherry despite the police urging them to return and remain indoors.
Police virtually were at their wits' end in controlling the people coming into Puducherry at the inter-state borders at Gorimedu and a few other points.
Narayanasamy said earlier that Health Minister Maladi Krishna Rao who visited the state border at Gorimedu was aghast on seeing people out on the streets.
Police have put up barricades across the roads to prevent the people from entering the Union Territory, leading to some quarrelling with police personnel.
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