Don’t allow religious gatherings during lockdown: MHA to states

No community transmission yet: Govt
Representational Image
Representational Image

In view of the upcoming festivals, the Centre asked the states and union territories on Friday to strictly adhere to the ongoing 21-day lockdown and not allow any social or religious gathering and procession.

In a communication, the Union Home Ministry also said thatappropriate vigil on social media should be maintained against circulation ofany objectionable content.

In view of the festivals in April, the home ministry hasdirected all states and UTs to ensure a strict compliance of the lockdownmeasures to fight COVID-19 and not allow any social, religious gathering orprocession, an official statement said.

While Shab-e-Barat was on Thursday, today is Good Friday.Baisakhi, Rongali Bihu, Vishu, Poila Boishakh, Puthandu, Maha Vishuba Sankrantietc. are also in April.

In the communication, the home ministry has requested thestates and UTs that for the attention of the public authorities, social andreligious organisations and citizens, the respective provisions of theguidelines should be widely circulated.

It adds that for any violation of the lockdown measures,action under the relevant penal provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005and Indian Penal Code (IPC) should be taken by the law-enforcing agencies.

The consolidated guidelines on the lockdown measures to betaken by the ministries and departments of the government of India, states andunion territories for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic in the countrywere notified by the home ministry on March 24, 25, 27, April 2 and 3.

Clauses 9 and 10 of the consolidated guidelines state thatno religious congregation will be allowed without any exception and all social,cultural, religious functions and gatherings shall be barred.

The home ministry communicated to the states and UTs toinform the district authorities and field agencies about the specificprohibitions as mentioned in the consolidated guidelines on lockdown measures.

The district administrations should take all precautionaryand preventive measures for the maintenance of law and order, peace and publictranquillity, the ministry said.

The 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced by PrimeMinister Narendra Modi on March 24 to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

No community transmission yet: Govt

The Union Health Ministry on Friday said the infection ratefrom coronavirus is not huge according to the samples collected and there is nocommunity transmission in the country so far.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary Health Ministry, said there isno community transmission of the coronavirus viral infection, thus peopleshould not panic.

He said the infection rate from coronavirus is not huge, forexample out of 16,000 tests in a day, only 0.2 per cent cases have tested positive.As many as 146 government labs are testing samples for COVID-19 and 67 privatelabs have been given approval to conduct the test, said the health ministry.

The ministry official said in January this year, they beganwith just one lab then scaled it up to 15 labs. "We have done upscaling to2.5 labs in a day so far", said Agarwal.

He said though there is no community transmission in thecountry till now, but people have to be alert and follow dos and don'ts.

On the availability of the Hydroxychloroquine, Agarwal saidthere is a stock of more than 3 crore tablets in the country, and the requiredprojection of consumption is nearly 1 crore tablets.

"The stock is sufficient for the month-endrequirement", said Agarwal citing the MEA decision to export surplusmedicine.

The total number of confirmed cases in India is 6,412, 503have been cured/ discharged. The country has recorded 199 deaths. There are5,709 active cases in the country.

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