The Rajasthan government has ordered full lockdown of the state till March 31 as COVID-19 cases rise across the country. In a statement, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said all public transport has been stopped and malls and shops will remain shut. Essential services will remain operational, he said.
The Chief Minister said food packets will be distributed to economically weak families and wheat will be distributed free to those eligible under the National Food Security Act, 2013.
"Essential services will function under this lockdown, but all state and private offices, malls, shops, factories and public transport will be closed. To cope with this global epidemic, it is very important for people to stay in their homes," Mr Gehlot said.
"In this period of crisis, the government stands with the people of the state. Follow the decisions and advisories of the government to defeat the coronavirus so that the situation is not out of control," Mr Gehlot tweeted.
आपदा के इस दौर में लोगों को खाद्य सामग्री को लेकर किसी तरह की परेशानी नहीं होनी चाहिए।राष्ट्रीय खाद्य सुरक्षा अधिनियम से जुड़े एक करोड़ से अधिक परिवारों जिनको एक रूपए, दो रूपए प्रतिकिलो गेहूं मिलता है,उन्हें मई माह तक गेहूं निःशुल्क दिए जाने के निर्देश दिए हैं। #राजस्थान_सतर्क_है— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) March 21, 2020
Punjab and Maharashtra are among the states that have announced similar measures to minimise the risk of the coronavirus from spreading. Malls in the national capital are also shut.
The Health Ministry website, last updated on Saturday afternoon, said the total number of coronavirus cases in India stood at 283, including four deaths. Punjab recorded 11 new cases, taking the state's count to 14. Seven new coronavirus in Gujarat took the total to 14 while five new cases reported in Karnataka raised the number to 20.