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News18 » India
1-min read

Punjab Shuts Down Public Transport to Fight Coronavirus, Limits Wedding Crowd to 20 People

The state is the first to announce shutting down of public transport to check the threat from the contagion that has taken three lives in the country and infected 166 people so far.

News18.com

Updated:March 19, 2020, 2:57 PM IST
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Punjab Shuts Down Public Transport to Fight Coronavirus, Limits Wedding Crowd to 20 People
Representative image.

Chandigarh: The Punjab government on Thursday decided to shut down its public transport system from the midnight of March 20 as part of a range of steps taken to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state.

Buses, auto-rickshaws and tempos will not be allowed to ply in the state from Friday midnight, it was decided after a group of ministers met to review the state’s preparedness for the pandemic.

The state is the first to announce shutting down of public transport to check the threat from the contagion that has taken three lives in the country and infected 166 people so far.

The government has also decided to limit public gathering to 20 people, including for wedding functions or funerals, from the existing 50. While other states have also imposed such bans on gatherings, weddings were exempted. All SSPs and DCPs have been told to take charge of duties in their areas and ensure that the guidelines are followed.

The preventive steps were taken a day after Chandigarh reported the first case of coronavirus in the state on Wednesday. It was also decided to postpone all exams in Punjab government-run schools till March 31. The new examination schedule would be announced on April 1. Teachers would not be required to come to schools or perform any other duties.

The Union government and several states have asked people to avoid unnecessary travel and stay at home to prevent community spread of the disease.

Steps have been taken to disinfect public transport services in several states and the Indian railways have cancelled several trains due to low occupancy.

Punjab government had earlier ordered closure of all government and private schools, colleges and universities where exams are not being held till March 31 in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

A helpline number 104 has been set up in the State for any health-related information. The national call centre number 011-23978046 and state control room numbers 88720-90029 and 0172-2920074 are also active.

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