Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday called for a 24-hour voluntary curfew from 6 am on March 22 to combat the spread of the coronavirus, as two new fresh COVID-19 cases were reported in the state taking the tally to 21 in the state.
The fresh cases, include a 35-year-old man, a city resident who moved closely with a person who has already tested positive for the virus, according to a media bulletin on COVID-19.
Rao, who supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call to observe 'Janta curfew' on Sunday from 7 am to 5 pm, urged the people of Telangana to stay at home from 6 AM on Sunday to 6 AM on Monday.
Telangana should stand as an ideal to the entire country in the decision that the country has taken to observe 'Janta curfew' with self-control, tomorrow.
Backing PM Modi's call for the 'curfew', he said:"... let us follow for 24 hours from 6 (AM) tomorrow morning to 6 (AM) day after tomorrow morning, Rao told reporters.
The voluntary curfew should not seen as a burden, he said.
Except emergency services, including medical, fire services and electricity, others should close down voluntarily and stay at home for 24 hours in the interest of their own families, state, country and humanity, he said.
Rao announced that the state-run Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) buses would not operate during the 'curfew.'
Buses from other states would be stopped at the borders and not allowed into the state, he said.
Replying to a query, he said if need be, borders with other states would be closed to prevent spread of the virus.
The Hyderabad Metro Rail would be closed, but five trains have been kept on stand-by to attend to any emergency.
He appealed to owners of shops, malls and other commercial establishments to down shutters voluntarily.
Countries which have not observed controls faced problem with regard to coronavirus, he said.
Observing that Telangana is faced with a worry as coronavirus cases are on the rise in Maharashtra, he said the state government is thinking of even closing down the border with the neighbouring state after reviewing the situation after two to three days.
Saying that the government deliberated on ways to tackle the coronavirus threat, Rao said it even thought of supplying ration to people if such a situation (of people not coming out of their homes) arose.
Finding fault with some people on social media allegedly mocking Prime Minister Modi calling on people to clap on Sunday evening to thank health care providers, Rao asked DGP Mahender Reddy, who was present at the press conference, to file cases and arrest such people.
Rao said he, along with members of his family, would also clap at 5 PM on Sunday.
Telangana ministers, TRS MLAs would also clap, he said, adding, the government is making arrangements to blow a siren at 5 PM.
When it was pointed out that crowds have been observed at wine shops, he said the government did not want to close down all at once.
"If the situation (intensity) rises, if need be, we will do total shutdown also," he said.
Rao said over 20,000 people came to the state from abroad since March 1.
The foreign returnees should voluntarily report either to local doctors, police or other government agencies so that their health status can be checked which is in their own interest, the state and the country, he said.
Rao said about 65 foreigners from countries like Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, who are in the state, have been traced and that they are under observation for any symptoms of the virus.
Asked about social harmony coming under threat due to alleged wrong campaign in social media about Karimnagar incident, where 10 Indonesians who visited the town tested positive, he said there is no such threat and foreign nationals who have come to Telangana are not infiltrators.
They came on visa and they will go back, he said.
When suggested that 'homam' (a form of worship) can be permitted in temples to ward off the coronavirus, he said the government would allow those who want to perform out of interest or on behalf of government.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)