Delhi on Lockdown Till Month-End, Borders to be Sealed as 6 Local Transmission Cases Recorded: Kejriwal
During the lockdown, no public transport will operate and Delhi's borders will be sealed but the essential services related to health, food, water and power supply will continue.
A sign pasted on a security barricade at the India Gate war memorial in New Delhi. (Reuters)
New Delhi: Delhi will be locked down from 6 am on March 23, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Sunday, saying "extraordinary measures" are required to contain the spread of the new coronavirus after six locally transmitted cases surfaced in the national capital.
The lockdown will continue till midnight on March 31, Kejriwal said at a joint press conference with Lt Governor Anil Baijal.
No public transport will operate and Delhi's borders will remain sealed during the lockdown, but the essential services related to health, food, water and power supply will continue, Kejriwal said but added that 25 percent of the DTC buses will run to transport people associated with essential services.
He announced that all domestic and international flights were being suspended in Delhi, but the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation as well as aviation regulator DGCA later said that domestic flights will continue to operate in the capital.
Dairies, milk plants, grocery shops, chemists and petrol pumps will remain open, Kejriwal said.
"Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Delhi will be under lockdown from tomorrow 6 am until March 31. Certain exceptions have been made to ensure essential items are available for purchase and basic services continue to operate," he tweeted after the press conference.
At the press conference, Kejriwal said of the total 27 cases reported in Delhi, six were locally transmitted from one person to another while 21 persons contracted it abroad. "We know people will face difficulties, but lockdown is necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus," he said.
Gathering of more than five people will not be allowed and strict action will be taken if anybody violates the lockdown. "People coming out of their homes for essential things will not be asked anything and they will be trusted for which they would be coming out."
Private sector will have to pay salaries to their employees during the lockdown. The companies will not deduct salaries, the CM assured.
The Delhi Police on Sunday also declared prohibitory orders till March 31 midnight in view of coronavirus outbreak and banned protests, demonstrations and other gatherings in the city.
The order issued by Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava will come into effect from 9 pm on March 22 and will remain valid till 31st of this month. According to the prohibitory orders issued, assembly of any kind for demonstrations, processions, protest is banned and violation will attract punishment.
Any gathering - social, cultural, political, religious, academic, sports, seminar or conference is prohibited.
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