As of 15th April 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has stated that there are more than 9,756 confirmed COVID-19 cases in India. Although the highest number of cases are in Maharashtra, Kerala and Karnataka, the spread of the coronavirus pandemic across the country has forced local governments to go in a lock down mode for curbing further outbreak. Since the spread of viral diseases is invariably linked to travel, here is an update on steps taken by authorities across the country to curb non-essential travel and contain the virus.
- Indian Railway had hiked platform ticket price to Rs. 50 to minimize footfalls at 250 stations in 6 divisions across Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Ratlam, Rajkot, Bhavnagar till further orders. (Source: Zee News)
- Uttarakhand closed Corbett Tiger Reserve till April 15 as it draws over 3 lakh tourists every year (Source: Hindustan Times)
- The Archeological Survey of India(ASI) on Tuesday, 17th March, ordered shutting down of all its centrally protected monuments and cancelled permissions given for photography, filming and cultural events within its premises till 31st March. Given the lock down enforced from midnight March 25, the shut down will extend till April 15 (Source: The Quint)
- On Tuesday, 17th March, GoAir announced suspending international operations until April 15th offering leave without pay programme for its staff on rotational basis, amid a sharp decline in air travel to the pandemic. (Source: The Indian Express News)
- Civil aviation regular DGCA directed carriers that all aircrafts must be deep-cleaned and disinfected atleast once in 24 hours. All aircrafts are also to be equipped with hand sanitizers placed in common areas like washrooms and alleys (Source: Mint)
- Pune Police on 16th March invoked section 68 of Maharashtra Police Act, 1951 and imposed restrictions on tour operators to arrange trips within and outside India. “As per the provisions of the Act, tours and travel companies have been restricted to arrange trips in groups within India or outside the country. In any exceptional case, if such a trip is to be arranged, prior permission from the Commissioner of Police, Pune will be necessary,” reads the order. The order further stated violators would be punished under section 188 of IPC. (Source: PTI)
- In its daily press briefing, the World Health Organisation chief was quoted saying that there have now been more cases and deaths reports in the rest of the world than China. (Source: WHO)
- A circular issued by the Gujarat Chief Wildlife Warden Shyamal Tikadar stated that the state’s national parks, sanctuaries, and conservation reserves will remain closed till 29 March. But the national lock down will extend the closure till April 15. The sites under lockdown include Sakkarbaug Zoological Park in Junagadh, Devaliya Safari Park, Ambardi Safari Park, which attract large crowds eager to sight the Asiatic lion and the newly-built Sardar Patel Zoological Park at Kevadiya, close to the Statue of Unity. (Source: PTI)
- Amid spread of the virus in Kerala, authorities commenced thermal screening of passengers in trains passing through the state and at major railway stations, including this capital city and Ernakulam. (Source: ANI)
- The administration imposed Section 144 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to an order passed by District Magistrate Shafqat Iqbal an assembly of four or more people in any public place is prohibited in the state and it will remain in place until further notice (Source: PTI).
- The Health ministry tightened travel restrictions from high risk areas. With effect from 18th March, it banned the entry of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and United Kingdom into the country. The compulsory quarantine was also been extended for a minimum period of 14 days for passengers coming from/transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait with effect from (Source: PTI)
As of today, social distancing measures have been proposed to be implemented till April 15 and beyond that if required. The health ministry has further advised that any non-essential travel should be avoided. Besides ensuring regular and proper disinfection of surfaces, public transport should especially be avoided.
‘Curated by Neha Bhise’