The Chhattisgarh government on Monday decided to extend the ongoing lockdown in coronavirus-hit areas, including capital Raipur, Bilaspur and Durg, tillAugust 6 to check the deadly infection's spread, an official said.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting of cabinet ministers and senior officials chaired by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel at his official residence here, the public relations department official said. Briefing the media after the meeting, Agriculture Minister Ravindra Choubey said, in view of the spurt in Covid-19 cases in several major cities like Raipur, Durg and Bilaspur, a decision has been taken to extend the week-longlockdown enforced in these areas last week, till August 6.
Instructions have been given to district collectors to ensure strict compliance with lockdown rules in coronavirus hotspots and take effective steps to check the spread of theinfection, he said.
"We also took stock of availability of beds forpatients in cities where most of the cases are concentrated during the meeting and directed officials concerned to make necessary arrangements," Choubey said.
Besides, a decision was also taken to release waterfrom reservoirs from July 28 for irrigation of kharif crops, the minister said. Chhattisgarh, where the infection has spread in all the 28 districts, has reported 7,613 Covid-19 cases till Sunday night. Of them, 2,626 were active cases as 4,944 patientswere discharged, while 43 others have died of the infection.
The state has recorded over 5,000 cases in just lastone month. With 2,187 cases so far, Raipur district tops the tally in the state.
In view of a sudden spike in cases in the state capital, the district administration had imposed strict lockdown in Raipur Municipal Corporation and Birgaon MunicipalCorporation (BMC) areas from July 22 to July 28.
Similarly, lockdown was also imposed in severalcoronavirus-hit urban areas of various districts including Bilaspur, Korba, Ambikapur, Durg, Mungeli, Bemetara andRajnandgaon, last week for different periods of time.
During the extended lockdown, all government, semi-government and private offices will remain closed. Also, public transport services including buses, taxis, and auto-rickshaws will not operate, the official said.
Private vehicles engaged in essential services ortransportation of essential commodities will be allowed to operate, he added. Selling of vegetables, fruits, eggs, mutton, chicken, fish will be allowed in the morning in different time slotsduring the lockdown, the official added.