The number of novel coronavirus cases in the count rose to 606 with 10 deaths being recorded across the country. According to latest Union Health Ministry report, released this evening , the corona affected cases has crossed 600, ot of which 543 active cases & 43 cured/discharged/migrated cases.
Yesterday night, PM Narendra Modi declared a three-week nationwide lockdown starting midnight Tuesday, explaining that it was the only way of breaking the Covid-19 infection cycle. This essentially extended the lockdown from most states and Union Territories to the entire country and provided a more definite timeline. “Social distancing is the only way to break the cycle of infection,” he said.
In his second address to the nation on the Covid-19 outbreak, Modi told people to stay inside their homes for 21 days, warning that if they didn’t do so the country would be set back 21 years and families would be destroyed. His last address was on the outbreak was on March 19.
“This is like a curfew, and far stricter than the ‘Janata Curfew’ (on March 22),” the PM said
In the wake of the 21-day lockdown period, the Union Home Ministry has asked state governments to check the spread of rumours about shortage of food and other essential commodities. In a communication to chief secretaries and DGPs of all states, the ministry asked them to take action to allay apprehensions and maintain peace and tranquillity, and inform people about the availability of food, medicine and other essential commodities.
An order, issued by the home ministry after PM Narendra Modi’s address to the nation, further says that anyone spreading rumour (related to Coronavirus) which turns out to be a false claim, in such cases the authority shall, on conviction, punish such individuals with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year with fine .
Anyone found guilty of misappropriation of funds meant for relief operation would also be liable for punishment for prison term of up to two years. These guidelines are are equally applicable for any government officials found guilty.