COVID … Indian cities in shutdown mode, more infections are reported

NEW DELHI: The Covid-19 scenario steadily worsened across the country, with increase in infections though the deaths were few so far. Life was affected across cities in multiple ways, with shopping malls closed, grouping together in public fields restricted, educational institutions closed, and businesses largely hit. Air India cancelled several flights from tomorrow until April end.

India on Sunday said it would close 18 of the 37 border crossing points linking Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar from midnight of March 15, as also all border entry points with Pakistan from March 16, for an indefinite period. Pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara in Pakistan remains suspended.

Altogether, 102 cases of infection have been reported from India so far, while Maharashtra topped the chart with 32 cases. The western metropolis of Mumbai invoked Section 144 IPC to ban gatherings in public places till end of March. This, after five more cases of infections were reported on Sunday. Educational institutions, malls, gyms, cinemas etc have been ordered shut across Maharashtra. There is a ban in effect on all pubic events. All malls in the state will remain closed till March 31.

In Kerala, 20 passengers of a Dubai-bound flight from Kochi tested positive and were disembarked from the plane.

Delhi confirmed seven cases so far. Kerala reported 22 cases of covid, Uttar Pradesh 11, and Rajasthan two. Telangana reported three infections. There is one each confirmed cases in AP, Tamil Nadu, and Punjab. Haryana on Sunday imposed ban on night clubs and cinemas till March 31. Primary schools in Tamil Nadu were closed till end March. Uttar Pradesh too shut schools and colleges till March 22.

Bengaluru was under a virtual shutdown, with malls closed, cinemas shut, offices advising executives to keep off and work online from home, and people largely avoiding public transport. This, even as the total number of infections in Karnataka remaining at six, of which one being fatal in Kalburgi in the northern region. Some schools advised students to take online classes.
Batches of Indian stranded in Iran have been airlifted by flights in the past three days. The ministry of external affairs has named Dammu Ravi as points person for contact in matters relating to covid-related requests from Indians living abroad.

The Indian Railways ordered removal of curtains and blankets from all AC coaches in view of the virus spread. Coaches are also being disinfected. India meanwhile suspended its passenger train service to Bangladesh.
The government announced on Sunday that Indian nationals who want to return to India will be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival only if they have visited China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and Germany on or after 15 February.  Covid-19 Negative Certificate is mandatory for Indians coming from South Korea or Italy. –IHN-NN


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