Chief secretaries of all the states, during a high-level meeting called by the Cabinet Secretary today, decided to extend restrictions on the movement of non-essential passenger transport, including interstate-state transport buses till March 31. It also decided to allow only essential services to operate in the 75 districts of the country till March 31 in wake of the coronavirus outbreak in India. The country has already reported 341 cases, and the number is rising every day. The total deaths due to the deadly virus have touched six.
During the meeting, it was decided that all railway operations will be suspended until March 31. "All train services suspended till 31st March 2020 including suburban rail services. However, goods trains are exempted," a government statement said.
Govt of India: Lockdown in 75 districts affected by Coronavirus; All trains stopped till Mar31, no metro rail and inter-state buses to operate https://t.co/F9rn123Hpw— ANI (@ANI) March 22, 2020
The government has also decided to extend the Metro rail service shutdown till March 31, 2020. The Metro services are also shut in the national capital today. The government has also asked "state governments to issue orders allowing only essential services to operate in about 75 districts with confirmed COVID-19 cases," the statement said, adding that all inter-state passenger transport had also been suspended till March 31.
"The state governments may expand the list demanding on their assessment of the situations," said the government statement. All the states concerned have already issued orders in this regard, it added.
During the meeting, the chief secretaries informed the Cabinet Secretary about the "overwhelming and spontaneous" response received to the Janata Curfew call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his address to the nation on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to observe "Janata Curfew" on March 22 from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. Under Janta Curfew, the PM appealed people to stay away from public places and self-isolate themselves in their homes.