Chandigarh, Mar 22 (PTI) The Haryana government has ordered a lockdown in seven districts, including Gurgaon and Faridabad, from Sunday night till March 31 as a preventive measure to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The government has notified a lockdown in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat, Panipat, Jhajjar, Rohtak and Panchkula districts from 9 pm on Sunday to March 31.
However, all essential and emergency services will remain functional during the lockdown period, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said, appealing to people not to panic or worry.
The lockdown period in seven districts will start immediately after the 14-hour-long 'Janta curfew', which began at 7 am, ends. Haryana has so far reported eight positive cases that include four from Gurgaon, one each from Panchkula, Faridabad, Panipat and Sonipat.
According to an order issued by Haryana's Home Department, no public transport services, including operation of taxis, auto-rickshaws, will be permitted.
The exception will include transport of all kinds to and from hospitals, airports, railway stations, bus terminals/bus stands and for the purpose of essential services.
Apart from restrictions in the seven districts, all inter-state bus services will remain suspended in entire Haryana, the order said.
All deputy commissioners will establish control room in each district in the state to coordinate and monitor all activities for prevention and control of coronavirus.
All those who return from abroad are required to remain under strict home quarantine for a period as decided by local health authorities, as per the Home Department's order.
'People are required to stay at home and come out only for basic services while strictly following social distancing guidelines,' the order said.
Any person found violating the containment measures shall be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under Section 188 of the IPC (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), it said.
However, restrictions will not be applicable to essential and emergency services, including electricity, water, sewerage and municipal services, banks and ATMs.
'E-commerce (delivery) of all essential goods, including food, pharmaceutical and medical equipment, take away/home delivery restaurants/eateries, have also been exempted from the restrictions in the seven districts,' the order said.
Besides, private establishments that support or are linked to the efforts for containment of COVID-19 will remain open.
According to the order, congregation of more than five persons will be prohibited at public places.
Transport plan will be prepared by the deputy commissioner concerned for the services of essential commodities/services.
The resident welfare associations have been directed to take necessary measures for social distancing and maintaining essential services and intimate police if they find any violation.
The government order stressed that containment measures were necessary to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state.
As many as 6,600 people are under surveillance for coronavirus in Haryana.
A majority of those who returned from abroad recently are from the seven districts, where lockdown has been ordered.
In response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for a 'Janta curfew', people across Haryana preferred to stay indoors on Sunday.
The 14-hour-long 'Janta curfew' from 7 am to 9 pm was part of a social distancing exercise to help stop the spread of the virus. Khattar said he is grateful to the people of the state for the success of 'Janta curfew' and for supporting it.
Khattar told the people that the government is with them in this fight against coronavirus.
'Defeating coronavirus will require the participation of every citizen, and I am confident that our resolve and persistence will help us overcome COVID-19,” he added. PTI SUN VSD SNE SNE