After Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to his Twitter handle on Monday ordering the states to strictly enforce the lockdown noting that people were not taking the directives of the central government seriously, the Telangana government on Monday held a high-level meeting including health minister Eetala Rajender, chief secretary Somesh Kumar and DGP Mahender Reddy to discuss modalities to strictly enforce the lockdown in Telangana.
“Many people are still not taking the lockdown seriously. Please save yourself by doing this, save your family, follow the instructions seriously. I request the state governments to get the rules and laws followed,” Modi tweeted.
At a press conference on Monday, Health Minister Eetala Rajender appealed to the people to stay indoors and come out only for permitted activities while strictly observing social distancing norms. The state government has prohibited congregation of more than five persons in public places.
Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar on Monday said there will be 100 per cent curfew in Telangana between 7 pm to 6 am. People are strictly not allowed to come onto the roads during this time. Those who violate will face punishment, he said. “The government is committed to implement the lockdown,” he said. Only essential services will be available, he said.
He said the lockdown will be strictly enforced under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 and the Disaster Management Act of 2005. The orders will be in force till March 31. He said the state government had declared that the state borders will be sealed. Individuals are required to observe home quarantine failing which he or she will be liable for penal action and shifted to government quarantine. All shops, commercial establishments, offices and factories, workshops, godowns and others should close their operations. While petrol bunks, grocery stores and banks will be open, commercial establishments and public transport has been shut down completely.
He had directed the district collectors to be cautious and implement strictly the instructions issued by the Telangana government to contain the spread of coronavirus in the State. Somesh Kumar said the collectors were directed to ensure that all educational institutions including coaching centres were closed with immediate effect till March 31.
Chief secretary Somesh Kumar said it was brought to the notice of the government officials that autos and taxis were freely operating while people were reportedly violating the lockdown. Vehicles were being seized and challans were issued to the people by the traffic police for violating the lockdown. At the high-level meeting, Somesh Kumar stated that stringent action will be taken under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 and the Disaster Management Act of 2005 if people violate the lockdown.
Check posts will be put up in all police station to monitor if people are following the lockdown seriously, DGP Mahender Reddy. Vehicles will be seized if people are found to travel in their vehicles, autos or taxis, he said. People cannot travel beyond 3 km of radius from their vicinity and those found to violate this norm will face criminal cases, he said. Taxis, auto-rickshaws etc. are strictly barred from operations. Operation of all interstate bus and transport services including those by private operators shall also stand suspended. All educational institutions and education department activities were closed. All examinations scheduled till March 31 were postponed, he said. “Police checking will intensify to ensure complete lockdown. This is in the public interest. Only one person from each family is allowed to buy essential commodities. People have to take this seriously for the next 10 to 15 days as the spread of corona virus is grave,” he said.
On Sunday, Telangana was placed under complete lockdown till March 31 and people were asked to remain in homes as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus as the total number of COVID-19 patients in the state rose to 27 with six fresh cases on Sunday.
The Telangana government has already put Karimnagar on a high alert after a group of 10 Indonesians were tested positive for the coronavirus. The group of Indonesians had travelled in coach number S9 of AP Sampark Kranti Express (Train no: 12708). They boarded it at Delhi on March 13 and alighted at Ramagundam in Telangana on March 14, before travelling to Karimnagar. They had reportedly visited three mosques. The Indonesians stayed in Karimnagar for two days to attend a religious programme.