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Forensic officials at Nizamuddin Markaz to conduct an investigation. (Photo: PTI)
Forensic officials at Nizamuddin Markaz to conduct an investigation. (Photo: PTI)

Covid-19 lockdown: MHA tightens the screws to contain spread

  • There is speculation that the 21-day lockdown, scheduled to end 14 April, will be extended
  • As of Friday, India had 6,412 cases of covid-19, with death toll at 199

NEW DELHI : The Union government on Friday directed all states to tighten lockdown measures, with several parts of the country now being sealed as containment zones.

“The MHA has directed all states and Union territories to ensure strict compliance of lockdown measures to fight covid-19, and not allow any social or religious gathering or procession," the union home ministry said.

While the gathering of the Tablighi Jamaat at Delhi’s Nizamuddin area in early March led to the largest contact tracing and containment exercise in the country, the ministry has now banned all such gatherings.

With several festivals lined up in April, the ministry stated that “in view of the ensuing festivals in the month of April 2020, it has been communicated to district authorities and field agencies on the specific prohibitions as mentioned in the Consolidated Guidelines on Lockdown Measures and that they should take all required precautionary and preventive measures for maintenance of law and order."

The ministry’s directive has further stated that “in case of violation of any lockdown measure, action under the relevant penal provisions of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and Indian Penal Code should be taken by the law enforcing agencies."

On Friday home minister Amit Shah took stock of the lockdown along India’s international borders. He asked the Border Security Force to spread awareness of covid-19 among people living in border areas and to step up vigil to prevent any incursions, especially in areas lacking fencing.

The ministry has also issued several notifications to curb the spread of fake news.

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