Haryana locks down its 7 districts, including Gurgaon and Faridabad

Chandigarh, Mar 22 (PTI) The Haryana government on Sunday ordered lockdown for seven of the state's 22 districts, including Gurgaon and Faridabad, suspending all public and private transport and various non-essential services there with the positive coronavirus cases reaching 12.

According to a state government's notification, issued earlier in the day, the lockdown in the seven districts -- Gurugaon Faridabad, Sonipat, Panipat, Jhajjar, Rohtak and Panchkula -- was enforced at 9 pm on Sunday.

It came in force immediately after the 'janata curfew', observed by the entire country on Prime Minister Narenda Modi's call, came to an end.

The Haryana government ordered a partial territorial lockdown till March 31 in the state when neighbouring Punjab and Delhi decided to go in for a complete lockdown.

All essential and emergency services will remain functional during the lockdown period, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said, while making an appeal to the people 'not to worry or panic' and assured people that all essential supplies will be maintained.

Haryana government also deployed six IAS officers in the seven districts for planning, coordination and monitoring the implementation of all activities for the prevention and control of the spread of COVID-19, in addition to their present duties.

With four more people from Gurgaon testing positive, Haryana has so far reported 12 positive cases that include eight from Gurgaon and one each from Panchkula, Faridabad, Panipat and Sonipat, the state Health Department said.

Test reports of as many as 114 samples are still awaited, it said.

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.

All shops, commercial establishments, offices and factories, workshops, godowns etc shall close their operations except for essential services.

Apart from restrictions in the seven districts, all inter-state bus services shall remain suspended in entire Haryana.

Congregation of more than five persons shall be prohibited at public places.

All deputy commissioners shall establish a control room in their districts to coordinate and monitor all activities for the 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).

However, restrictions shall 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 or home delivery restaurants and eateries have also been exempted from the restrictions in the seven districts, as per the order.

Besides, private establishments that support or are linked to the efforts for containment of COVID-19 will remain open.

The Resident Welfare Associations have been directed to take necessary measures for social distancing and for maintaining essential services and intimate police if they find any violation.

Earlier, in response to Prime Minister Modi's call for a 'janata curfew' to check the spread of coronavirus, people across Haryana preferred to stay indoors.

The 14-hour-long 'Janata 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 'janata curfew' and for supporting it.

He expressed his 'heartfelt gratitude' to the people for their support in maintaining self-control.

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,” said Khattar. PTI SUN VSD RAX RAX