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News18 » India
3-min read

Flights, Cabs, Essential Services: Here’s What's Shut, What's Not as India Observes Janata Curfew Today

The number of Covid-19 cases in India has gone up to 324, the health ministry has confirmed. Of these, 296 are active cases, while 23 have recovered.


Updated:March 22, 2020, 11:12 AM IST
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Flights, Cabs, Essential Services: Here’s What's Shut, What's Not as India Observes Janata Curfew Today
A deserted gateway of India in Mumbai.

New Delhi: Millions are staying at home to observe the 14-hour ‘Janata (public) Curfew’ on Friday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for the emergency measure to curb the spread of COVID-19. The number of infections continues to witness a sharp rise with total count reaching 324 at 10am on Sunday.

Normal life is expected to get affected on Sunday as shops, restaurants and major retail outlets will all remain closed following the government's order.

Here's what's shut, what's not as India observes the unprecedented voluntary self-restraint period:

• Metro services have been stopped for a day in Delhi, Mumbai, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In a statement on Saturday, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation or DMRC said: "The move is aimed at encouraging (the) public to stay indoors and maintain social distancing, which is essential in the fight against COVID-19.”

• Ride hailing companies Ola and Uber will operate limited cabs during the 'Janata' curfew hours on Sunday for essential travels. "As per the Prime Minister's appeal to the nation to take part in the Janata curfew, we encourage all our users across India to avoid all non-essential travel from 7am to 9pm tomorrow. We will have limited availability of vehicles to support essential and emergency travel during this period," an Ola spokesperson said in a statement. Both Ola and Uber have temporarily suspended their shared ride service to check the spread of the deadly virus, which has killed over 11,000 people globally.

• GoAir, the budget airline from India, also announced to voluntarily suspend all flights on Sunday. Indigo, India's largest flight carrier, on the other hand has announced to operate only 60 percent of its fleet.

• In Tamil Nadu, public transport, including bus services, will be suspended. The State government also announced a series of restrictions including suspending metro rail services even as autorickshaws would stay off the roads. Southern Railway cancelled several inter-state trains besides restricting suburban EMU network to bare minimum. State milk and dairy development minister K T Rajenthra Bhalaji said considering the welfare of the people, milk will be available at all these outlets on Sunday. The fuel pumps would operate with skeletal services to offer minimal fueling services to support only unavoidable and essential transportation on emergencies.

• In Haryana, all bus services will remain suspended. Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma was quoted by news agency PTI as saying: "The state government is working at every level to tackle the spread of the coronavirus." However, Maharashtra has decided to run buses as per schedule.

• Several unions including the Delhi Autorickshaw Sangh, Delhi Pradesh Taxi Union, Delhi Auto Taxi Transport Congress Union and Delhi Taxi Tourist Transport Association, have decided to join the curfew from 7am to 10pm on Sunday. The prime minister acknowledging this initiative said that the fight against corona epidemic will receive a boost due to it. "This initiative will give new strength to the fight of the countrymen against corona epidemic," he tweeted in Hindi.

• In Karnataka, which has recorded 17 cases so far including one death, all bars and restaurants will remain shut on Sunday. Multiple cities across India have already closed the restaurants till the end of this month amid coronavirus pandemic.

• Autos and taxis will be off roads in the national capital on Sunday as several unions have extended support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a 'Janta Curfew' in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

• Maharashtra, which has recorded the maximum number of infections with the count reaching 74 on Sunday, has suspended the Mumbai Metro One service. "In continuation of our fight against COVID-19 and in support of the Prime Minister's appeal of Mumbai Metro One suspends operations no Sunday to encourage people to stay at home," the agency said in a statement.

• Five districts in Odisha will experience "near-total" shutdown. Bihar, too, has closed bus services, restaurants and banquet halls.

• In the national capital, the roads were deserted with barely some private vehicles and buses plying. Vendors were off the roads in the morning hours with people confining themselves to their homes. In Mumbai, the usually bustling western and eastern express highways and other arterial roads looked empty as people stayed in their homes to support the curfew. Same was the situation at the suburban train stations which normally see thousands of commuters jostling to get inside the overcrowded trains.

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