As Week-long Lockdown Kicks off in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh Govt Says No Statewide Curbs Planned

Vivek Trivedi

Having recorded 191 cases of Covid-19 in a single day on Monday, the administration has imposed complete lockdown in Gwalior. The restrictions kicked in at 7pm on Tuesday.

Madhya Pradesh home minister Dr Narottam Mishra, however, said no proposal was under consideration to impose total lockdown in the state and it was up to district crisis management committees to take the decision locally.

Since unlocking has been implemented in a phased manner in Madhya Pradesh, fresh cases of infection have hit the roof, especially in the month of July.

The Gwalior administration's decision for a total lockdown from July 14 evening was taken in a district crisis management committee meeting led by collector Kaushlendra Singh on Monday.

The collector said that arrangements have been made to ensure services like medical emergency aid and essential commodities are taken care of amid the restrictions. All kinds of social, religious and political programmes have been banned in this period.

Crowding will attract penal provisions and district borders will remain sealed, the order from the administration said.

With 111 and 193 cases of infection on Sunday and Monday respectively, the positivity rate had reached 18% in Gwalior, prompting the authorities to impose the order.

Sources said that the district administration in Bhopal is also pondering about enforcing limited lockdown in parts of the state capital and a decision will be taken in the meeting of the district crisis management group soon. Sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) have urged collector Avinash Lavania to clamp curfew in areas worst affected by Covid-19.

The state government seems to have braced for a long fight with the virus as on Monday the administration issued fresh guidelines for Covid-19. According to these norms, people have been asked to celebrate upcoming festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja and Bakra Eid at home and not gather at public places.

Home minister Mishra urged artisans to prepare small idols of Lord Ganesh as no pandals or public functions will be allowed. "Let’s install idols of Ganesh and Durga at our homes," he said in a video message. He also urged Muslims to observe the Bakra Eid festival at home.

Participation of guests has also been revised at weddings and last rites, with more than 20 people not being allowed. A maximum of ten people will be permitted to take part in a family function, said Mishra on Monday after a meeting with chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to review the Covid-19 situation.

As per the guidelines, more than five people won’t be allowed to gather at any religious place.

According to the latest health bulletin (July 13), total cases of Covid-19 infection had reached 18,207 in Madhya Pradesh, including 663 deaths. Till Monday, 13,208 patients had recovered from the disease in the state. On Monday, Bhopal and Indore reported 92 and 88 cases respectively of fresh infections.

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