The citizens of this country enthusiastically observed the 14-hour-long voluntary restriction, the Janata Curfew, on March 22, which was meant to check on the rapid spread of the pathogen. But were things back to normal post 9:00 pm?
Not really. However, the next thing that happened, after the loud applause was Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a briefing announced a complete shut down to control the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the region. The lock down kicked in from 6 a.m. Monday and will last till March 31.
The chief minister has mentioned that all dairies, grocery shops, chemists and petrol pumps will remain open during the period. However, no public transport service will run, with exception of 25 per cent DTC buses to help people reach essential services.
But what exactly are essential services?
In this case, essential services that have been exempted from the lock down are:
Hospitals, food and milk supplies, chemist and pharmacies, police stations, armed forces, fire, telecom, internet, postal, e-commerce, banks, media (both print and digital) municipal and aviation services among others, keeping in view the smooth supply chain of goods.
This means, even metro train services will remain shut till March 31 and only 25 per cent of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses will hit the roads. No other modes of public transport, including private buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws, rickshaws and e-rickshaws will be permitted during the lock down period.
For the first time in its 167-year-old history, the Indian Railways has also cancelled all services of passenger trains, including suburban ones, till March 31. The nearest equivalent of this was the 54-day railway strike in 1974, when trains did not run in the country. The railways, however, said goods trains would run.
Meanwhile, the Delhi police have imposed section 144 of CrPC which prohibits assembly of four or more people in one place till March 31.
They have put up barricades at the border areas including Kapashera which connects Gurugram to Delhi and Vasundhara Enclave which connect Noida with the city. Police officials at the borders were seen asking people to go back and were only allowing those exempted from the lock down order.
The CM also directed private firms to give compulsory paid leave to all employees, including contractual — until the end of March.
So far, the total number of Covid-19 cases in India rose to 415 on Monday, with 15 more people testing positive in Maharashtra. While the Delhi government has already put the national capital under a lock down for nine days, the Centre has also ordered all the states to enforce lock down strictly. Legal action will be taken against violators, says a notification by the government.
This comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that some people were still not taking the lockdown seriously. He urged people to...
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