Coronavirus: Officially or unofficially, India in lockdown, restrictions put in place in 82 districts | India News

Even as the day-long nationwide “janata curfew” called for by Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew to a close on Sunday evening, much of India came under a lockdown with most state governments extending total public transport shutdown and other restrictions for varying periods to fight the spread of Covid-19.
While many governments brought entire states or Union territories under the lockdown, some others ordered that those districts which have reported Covid-19 cases will continue to remain shut. However, essential services like hospitals, telecom, pharmacies, grocery, milk and vegetables will remain open.
In Mumbai, the administration swung into action immediately after the “janata curfew” with the police virtually imposing a curfew till 5am on Monday.
According to the police order, “presence or movement of one or more persons is prohibited” in the limits of Mumbai city. The railways have also announced cancellation of all local trains on Central and Western Railway, while Section 144 of CrPC was imposed in all urban areas.
According to the health ministry, at least 82 districts in 23 states across the country were shut by 8pm on Sunday.
The decision on lockdown followed a high-level review meeting chaired by the cabinet secretary and principal secretary to the Prime Minister with chief secretaries and health secretaries of all states where the Centre emphasised the need to break the transmission chain to contain Covid-19. The Centre also empowered the states to extend the list of districts for shutdown based on their risk assessment.
“This lockdown is a natural and logical extension of the ‘janata curfew’ and is vital to break the chain of transmission,” said health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal after the meeting. All public transport, including train and Metro rail services and local and inter-state bus services, have been suspended till March 31. Good trains, however, will continue to ensure availability of essential commodities.
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh were among the states and Union territories that were completely brought under lockdown on Sunday till March 31. On Saturday night, Rajasthan was the first state in the country to come under complete lockdown.
In Madhya Pradesh, 20 districts, including Bhopal, have been put under lockdown.
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced that 15 districts in the state, including state capital Lucknow and Noida and Ghaziabad in the NCR, will come under complete lockdown till March 25. The other districts are Agra, Varanasi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Kanpur, Aligarh, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Saharanpur, Bareilly, Prayagraj, Meerut and Moradabad.
“The lockdown has been announced to sanitise cities to counter the spread of Covid-19,” said Yogi. The CM indicated that more districts will be brought under lockdown in days to come when he said that “people should be prepared for more measures like ‘janata curfew’ in future to contain the spread of the disease”.
In Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee government declared a complete lockdown in Kolkata, Salt Lake and New Town cities as well as the districts of Howrah, Malda, Murshidabad, North Dinajpur, Hooghly, Birbhum and West Burdwan from 5pm on March 22 till the midnight of March 27. Almost all municipal towns in 16 other districts of the state have also been brought under the shutdown. Apart from essential commodities and medicines, the state government has also exempted “e-commerce of groceries and food items and home delivery of food” from the shutdown.
While entire Punjab and Chandigarh were brought under lockdown, in the neighbouring Himachal and Haryana, districts where Covid-19 cases have been reported were put under curbs. Of the total 22 districts in Haryana, lockdown was announced in seven — Gurgaon, Sonipat, Panchkula, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Faridabad and Panipat. In Himachal, Kangra district was brought under shutdown.
The Bihar government ordered lockdown in the headquarters of all 38 districts, 101 sub-divisional towns and 534 blocks with immediate effect till March 31.
Karnataka brought nine of its districts under lockdown till March 31. Odisha imposed week-long lockdown in five districts and nine urban local bodies from Sunday. The Naveen Patnaik government has also suspended all interstate bus services.
Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram – which have remained Covid19-free so far — became the first northeastern states where lockdown came under force from Sunday midnight. While in Nagaland it is for an indefinite period, the Arunachal Pradesh government said it will start at 5pm on Monday and extend till March 31 midnight. In Mizoram, the lockdown will run for a week beginning Sunday.
However, while most of governments ordered lockdown in their respective regions, Kerala the second worst affected state in the country, dithered on the Centre’s advisory to shut down 10 of its districts. “At present, we have a shutdown in Kasaragod and restrictions in other select districts. We will discuss if such a shutdown is needed in other districts too… There will be restrictions and they will be decided on Monday,” chief secretary Tom Jose said.

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