Coronavirus: Gujarat extends lockdown till March 25

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Over 300 cases of coronavirus have been registered across the country so far.

The Gujarat government has extended the Janata Curfew, which began on Sunday, to March 25 in the four major cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Rajkot and Surat. The decision was announced at the end of a high-level review meeting held Saturday, "to arrest the spread of the virus in Gujarat that had reached the second and third stage looking at the worldwide trend", a government release said.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel presided over the meeting of the core committee formed on Friday in the wake of the COVID19 cases surfacing in the state.

The government announced that barring milk, vegetables, fruits, grocery, provision stores, medical stores, pharmacies, dispensaries, laboratories, medical equipment manufacturers and health-related services, all other shops and malls will remain closed in the four cities till March 25, to contain the crowd.

Other "essential services" that will continue are municipal corporations, panchayat, electricity services, insurance companies, internet, telecom and ITES, banks, ATMs, bank clearing houses, stock exchange and essential goods' godowns. Other "very essential services" that will run during these days are railways, transport, petrol pumps, water supply, and sewerage, media and news papers, eatables, ration, medicines, pest control, and other providers of essential services, and shops and organisations connected to e-commerce.

It was also decided that the employees of classes 2 to 4 of government offices, boards, corporations and local self government bodies will work at 50 percent capacity on a rotational basis. This will not be applicable to those working in the essential and emergency services and services directly connected with the control of the coronavirus infection.

The 1,200-bed isolation ward at the civil hospital in Ahmedabad for coronavirus treatment will begin operations from Monday, even as the government announced 'infection isolation hospitals' with 250 beds each for Rajkot and Vadodara and a 500 bed hospital for Surat.

The meeting was attended by chief secretary Anil Mukim, principal secretary to the CM K Kailasnathan, additional chief secretary(revenue) Pankaj Kumar, ACS (urban development) Mukesh Puri, principal secretaries MK Das and Jayanti Ravi and others. ,