- "Join the fight against COVID-19" tweeted Arvind Kejriwal
- The national capital reported 30 coronavirus cases, one death
- Public transport shut, borders sealed and shops closed in Delhi
As the lockdown in Delhi begins today - part of the imposition of nationwide restrictions to battle the highly contagious novel coronavirus or COVID-19 - Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted this morning and urged people in the city to "join the fight against COVID-19".
"The lockdown in Delhi begins today. My dear Delhiites, you faced troubles and contributed in fight against pollution whenever odd-even was implemented. You embraced the massive campaign against dengue. I am pretty confident that you will join this fight against COVID-19 and support the lockdown to protect your families," he tweeted in Hindi.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal also tweeted an appeal to avoid leaving homes, unless "absolutely necessary". "I appeal to all of you to avoid stepping out of their homes, unless absolutely necessary. Stay safe and keep others safe too. Stay alert, stay safe," he wrote in Hindi.
The national capital - which has reported 30 coronavirus cases, including one death - has shut public transport, sealed its borders and closed shops, allowing in only the essential items, Mr Kejriwal announced on Sunday.
"Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures," he wrote in a tweet. "We have been fortunate. in our country, the virus came late. We had the advantage of watching and learning from the experiences of Italy and China. But if we still cannot take the right step at the right time, we would never forgive ourselves,' he added.
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Delhi will be under lockdown from tomorrow 6 AM until 31st March. Certain exceptions have been made to ensure essential items are available for purchase and basic services continue to operate. https://t.co/SlghXpFHBM— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 22, 2020
In a Twitter statement, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal said: "For preventive measures to contain spread of covid-19 outbreak, directions have been issued for lockdown in the whole territorial jurisdiction of NCT of Delhi from 0600 hrs on Monday 23rd March 2020 to midnight 31st March 2020."
During the lockdown, no cabs, taxis, auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in the national capital. Private vehicles will also be banned. The essential services that would remain open includes shops selling grocery, fruit and vegetables, milk, cooking gas supplies, telecom services, home-delivery of food, banks and ATMs, hospitals and pharmacies and 25 per cent buses of the Delhi Transport Corporation. Only people working for essential services will be allowed to use private transport.
The Delhi Metro had already announced that it will stop services till Mach 31 and the Delhi Police have imposed prohibitory orders across the city, banning gatherings of more than four people.
Across India, number of corornavirus count soared sharply in the last three days with nearly 200 fresh cases reported from different parts. Seven people have died, three of these deaths were reported on Sunday. Worldwide, over 13,000 people have died, nearly three lakh have contracted the infection.