India reports fourth coronavirus death; bans all int’l commercial flight from Mar 22
New Delhi: India reported its fourth coronavirus death on Thursday as the total number of cases of COVID-19 rose to 173 while most of the states and UT’s imposed restrictions, inching towards partial shutdown and India banning landing of all international commercial passenger flights from March 22 for a week.
The Union health ministry said the fourth person to die in Punjab after getting coronavirus was an elderly and had co-morbid conditions like diabetes, cardiac ailments.
There were more than 20 fresh cases in last 24 hours with Chhattisgarh and Chandigarh reporting their first COVID-19 patients on early Thursday.
As the virus continued to spread its tentacles across India, several parts, including Kashmir Valley headed towards a virtual lockdown with the administration restricting movement of people in several parts and banning all public transport in Srinagar city.
Punjab and the national capital also inched towards virtual shutdown. While the Punjab government announced suspension of public transport services from Friday midnight and restricting public gatherings to less than 20 besides deciding to close down marriage palaces, hotels, restaurants, banquets and dining places, except home delivery services and takeaways in the entire state.
The Kejriwal government in Delhi also announced shutting down of restaurants but said that takeaway and home delivery services will continue.
“Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has asked all government departments, autonomous bodies and PSUs to segregate activities and suspend non-essential services,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a press conference.
Non-essential government services will be discontinued from Friday, he added.
Social, cultural and political gatherings with more than 20 people are not allowed across the national capital to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus disease, he said.
As part of its efforts to detect and prevent the spread of coronavirus, which has claimed over 8,000 lives globally and infected more than two lakh, the government banned all international commercial passenger aircraft from landing in the country from March 22 to March 29.
Moreover, the Central government has requested states to enforce work for home for private sector employees, except for those working in emergency and essential services.
“State governments shall issue appropriate directions so that all citizens above 65 (other than for medical assistance) except for public representatives or government servants or medical professionals are advised to remain at home,” the government statement noted.
“No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to land in India from March 22, 2020 for one week,” the government statement said.
“Similarly, all children below 10 should be advised to stay at home and not to venture out,” it added.
“States are being requested to enforce work for home for private sector employees except those working in emergency/essential services,” the statement added.
65 above, children below 10 asked to stay indoors
New Delhi: The Health Ministry on Thursday advised senior citizens and children below the age of 10 years to stay indoors in view of the spread of coronavirus, even as they assured the general public that there was no community transmission of the disease in the country so far.
The ministry also said the department of pharmaceuticals and the ministry of consumer affairs have been asked to take necessary action against anyone charging exorbitant prices for masks, sanitizers and other health-related logistic materials.
“Senior citizens above 65 except for public representatives/govt servants/medical professionals should be advised to remain at home,” the ministry said.
Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Dammu Ravi said 201 Indians were evacuated from Iran on Wednesday.
“On March 21 Air India would be going to Rome to bring back students or any Indians stranded there. The flight would return on March 22,” said Joint Secretary, Aviation Ministry, Rubina Ali.
The Health Ministry also said there was no community transmission so far in the country and the fourth death reported from Punjab was that of an elderly person who had co-morbid conditions like had diabetes, cardiac issues.
The Health Ministry also said that to discourage unnecessary travel and to prevent the vulnerable category of senior citizens from undertaking unnecessary travels, concessional booking of all tickets except for patients, students and Divyangjan category for unreserved and reserved segment have been suspended form 00:00 hrs of March 20 till further advisory.
India on Thursday announced that it will not allow any international commercial passenger aircraft to land in the country from March 22 to March 29.