Telangana goes into lockdown till March 31

Deccan Chronicle.  | S A Ishaqui

Nation, Current Affairs

Assembly of more than five banned, only essential services exempt

Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao

Hyderabad: Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Sunday announced a total lockdown of Telangana till March 31 to combat the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic.

Addressing a press conference here after reviewing the situation in the state, Chandrashekar Rao said the state government has taken this decision under the Epidemic Dis-eases Act of 1897. A notification has been issued.

He said that with suspension of all international flights and denial of entry by the sea route, the threat of further import of Covid-19 infection had been minimised, but there was need to contain spread of virus from people who have already tested positive.

Eessential services like milk and vegetables would be exempted from the shutdown. Only one person from each family would be allowed to shop for essentials.

The chief minister announced that all shops and establishments, shopping malls, supermarkets and wine shops would remain closed till March 31. However, small kirana shops will be open.

All public transportation, including auto rickshaws, taxis, private bus and Hyderabad metro rail services stand suspended till March 31. All inter-state borders with Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have been closed.

No vehicles, including public and private transport buses, or private vehicles would be allowed into the state. Only trucks carrying essential commodities like milk and vegetables would be permitted.

Poor people would be provided 12 kg of rice per each member of the family. This will be open to about 87 lakh white ration card holders, who will be given Rs 1,500 per family to purchase vegetables and groceries. The government has sanctioned Rs 2,417 crore for this.

While appealing to people stay away from gatherings, the chief minister said that groups of more than five people would not be allowed on roads anywhere in the state. He said that during the lockdown period, 20 per cent of staff and officers of government departments, other than those involved in emergency services, would function in offices on a rotation basis.

He announced that all educational activities, including invigilation of papers and aganwadi centres stands closed during this lockdown. Alternate arrangements would be made to supply nutritious food to mother and child during the interregnum.

Mr Rao made it clear that all private institutions and establishments, besides the state government, should pay wages to outsourcing and contract employees during the lockdown.

He said that the total number of Coronavirus positive cases had gone up to 26, with five new cases reported on Sunday. All the five people have international travel history; two have returned from London, two from Dubai and one from Scotland, he said.

The government has identified all pregnant mothers who are due for delivery from Monday to till March 31 and he has issued orders to ensure measures for safe deliveries and proper medical care for mother and new born.