States Told to Enforce Coronavirus Lockdown Strictly, Six Month Jail Warning for Violators

Many people are still not taking the lockdown seriously, PM Modi tweeted this morning. He also urged states to ensure that the directives are followed.

New Delhi| The Centre has asked state governments to strictly enforce lockdown and take legal action against those who violated the restrictions as cases of coronavirus jumped to 415 in the country on Monday.

The Centre and state governments had on Sunday decided to completely lock down 80 districts across the country where coronavirus cases have been reported till March 31. Most forms of public transport, including all passenger trains, metro services and inter-state buses, were also suspended till the end of this month.

“Many people are still not taking the lockdown seriously. Please save yourself, save your family, follow the directives seriously. I request the state governments to ensure that the rules and laws are followed,” the Prime Minister tweeted in Hindi.

Soon after, a government notice took on a tougher tone, warning of legal action against violators.

Across India, 80 districts including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Bengaluru are on complete lockdown, which means only essential services will be allowed. Railways, metros and inter-state buses have been stopped and public transport has been banned in states including Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Bengal and Haryana.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: Dos and Don’ts To Protect Yourself Against The Virus

All shops, offices, commercial establishments like malls, cinemas have been shut down, except for those supplying essentials like milk, food and medicines.

Many states have imposed Section 144, which bans gatherings of more than four people. Those violating the ban can face punishment under Section 188, which could mean jail for up to one month or a fine of Rs 200, or both. These could go up to six months in jail or fine of up to Rs 1,000 if such violations endanger human lives or safety.

There are 415 coronavirus cases in India, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Seven people have died, including two in Mumbai. Maharashtra has the highest number of cases.

The global pandemic has forced lockdowns in 35 countries, disrupting lives, travel and businesses as governments scramble to shut borders and unleash hundreds of billions in emergency measures to avoid a widespread virus-fuelled economic meltdown. Over 300,000 infections have been confirmed worldwide.

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