In order to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Centre has advised that a lockdown be imposed in 75 districts in India where cases of COVID-19 have been reported. This may apply to several metros in south India as well, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai, as multiple cases of coronavirus have been reported.
In Karnataka, which has seen 21 COVID-19 cases till date, a lockdown is likely to be imposed in Bengaluru, Dharwad, Coorg, Chikkballapura, Kalaburagi and Mysuru. Lockdown has been announced in districts of Kerala - Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta, Malappuram, Kannur and Kasaragode. In Tamil Nadu, districts like Chennai and Coimbatore may also have a lockdown in place.
This decision was taken at a high-level meeting held this morning with Chief Secretaries of all the States by the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister.
It was also decided in the meeting that all passenger train services, including suburban rail services, will remain suspended till March 31 2020. However, goods trains will be exempted. All metro rail services and inter-state passenger transport also to be suspended till 31st March 2020.
“State Governments were advised to issue appropriate orders to allow only essential services to operate in the 75 districts which have reported confirmed cases or casualties relating to COVID 19. The State Governments may expand the list depending on their assessment of the situation,” a release from the government has said.
Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, which have reported 7 and 21 reported cases respectively, have already extended the ‘Janata curfew’ which was earlier to end at 9 pm on Sunday.
The railways on Sunday announced the suspension of all its passenger services from March 22 midnight to March 31 midnight and said only goods trains will run during the said period. The railways had already trimmed down its services on Friday by cancelling a majority of trains. However, it had allowed all trains that had already started the journey to continue. Only goods trains will run from March 22 midnight to March 31 midnight.