- Government asks states to "strictly enforce lockdown" over coronavirus
- A government notice warned of legal action against violators
- 80 districts across India brought under shutdown to stop coronavirus
The government today ordered states to "strictly enforce lockdown" and asked for legal action against those who violated the restriction, a day after 80 districts across the country were brought under a shutdown to check the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than 400 people.
Many people are still not taking the lockdown seriously, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted this morning. He also urged states to ensure that the directives are followed by people.
"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.
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.
Some states have already taken action against those who have violated home quarantine after returning from abroad.
Violations will include operating non-essential passenger transport.
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.
Worldwide, coronavirus has infected tens of thousands of people and over 14,300 have died of the highly contagious disease.