Seal state, district borders to block movement, says Centre

Updated: Mar 30, 2020, 07:41 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

During a video conference with chief secretaries and DGPs, Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asked them to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways as the lockdown continues.

Migrant workers and their families line-up outside the Anand Vihar bus terminal to leave for their villages during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown, in New Delhi, on March 28, 2020. Pic/AFP
Migrant workers and their families line-up outside the Anand Vihar bus terminal to leave for their villages during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown, in New Delhi, on March 28, 2020. Pic/AFP

The Centre on Sunday asked state governments and Union Territory administrations to effectively seal state and district borders to stop movement of migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown and warned that those violating the curb will be sent to 14-day quarantine. During a video conference with chief secretaries and DGPs, Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba and Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla asked them to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways as the lockdown continues.

"There has been movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country. Directions were issued that district and state borders should be effectively sealed," an official statement said. States were directed to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways and there should be strict implementation of the lockdown. Only the movement of goods should be allowed. Those who have violated the lockdown and travelled during the period of lockdown will be subject to minimum 14 days of quarantine in government quarantine facilities, the statement said.

District magistrates and SPs should be made personally responsible for the implementation of these directions, it said. The two top central government officials told the chiefs of police and civil administrations of all states to make adequate arrangements for food and shelter for the poor and needy people including migrant labourers at the place of their work. The Cabinet secretary and Home Ministry officials are in constant touch with the state chief secretaries and the DGPs. Video conferences were held by the Cabinet secretary and the Home secretary on Saturday evening as well as Sunday morning with the chief secretaries and the DGPs.

Please forgive me for the lockdown: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday sought the nation's forgiveness for imposing a monumental lockdown on the country, saying it was a question of life and death and expressed confidence that "we will definitely win the battle" against the Coronavirus menace that has claimed 25 lives in India so far. In his monthly Mann ki Baat radio address to the nation, Modi also praised the front-line workers in the fight against the virus as well as countless workers in the essential services who are ensuring the country doesn't come to a complete standstill in the 21-day lockdown announced on March 24.

Narendra Modi

"I seek forgiveness ... I strongly feel, you will forgive me. When I see my poor brothers and sisters, then I definitely feel that they would say what kind of prime minister is this who has put us in this trouble. I specially seek their forgiveness. You had to undergo problems. I understand but there is no other way out to fight the Coronavirus for a country with a population of 130 crore," he said.

Swiggy, Zomato to deliver groceries in Goa

In face of failed efforts to run a volunteer-based system to home-deliver essential goods for nearly a week now, Goa CM Pramod Sawant announced that Swiggy and Zomato had been roped in to deliver food and grocery items to people's homes. "eCommerce operators such as @swiggy_in, @ZomatoIN, and other platforms have been permitted to deliver food and other grocery items. #GoaFightsCOVID19," Sawant tweeted.

Newspaper hawkers to get passes

Delhi Police issued WhatsApp numbers for newspaper hawkers so that they can get their movement pass (curfew pass) made from their homes itself. Delhi police spokesperson, Anil Mittal on Saturday said all the station in-charges have been asked not to stop newspaper hawkers in the morning while distributing newspapers. He said, "Due to nationwide three-week lockdown the newspaper hawkers were facing trouble while distributing newspapers in the morning. In order to make things smooth for them we have issued two WhatsApp numbers for every district on which the newspaper hawkers can request for the movement pass."

SpiceJet pilot tests positive for COVID-19

SpiceJet said on Sunday that one of its pilots who did not fly any international flight in March has tested positive for the Coronavirus. "One of our colleagues, a first officer with SpiceJet, has tested positive for COVID-19. The test report came on March 28. He did not operate any international flight in March 2020," a spokesperson of the airline told PTI. "The last domestic flight that he operated was on March 21 from Chennai to Delhi and since then he had quarantined himself at home," the spokesperson added. As a precautionary measure, the spokesperson said, all crew and staff who had been in direct contact with him have been asked to self-quarantine by staying at home for the next 14 days.

Contributions for PM-CARES fund pour in

. In fight against the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, country's premiere investigating agency CBI has decided to extend monetary support to the government in the need of the hour with its officials pledging to donate their one-day salary in PM-CARES fund.

Contributions for PM-CARES fund pour in

. The Railway Ministry will donate '151 crore to PM-CARES fund to help in combating the Coronavirus threat, Union Minister, Piyush Goyal said on Sunday. "Following PM's call, I, Suresh Angadi, will donate one month's salary, 13 lakh rly, PSU employees will donate one day's salary, equal to '151 cr to PM-CARES fund," Goyal tweeted.

. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday approved a proposal for the contribution of one day salary by the employees of Ministry of Defence to the PM-CARES fund to fight COVID-19. It is estimated that around '500 crore will be collectively provided by the Defence Ministry to the fund from various wings, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Defence PSUs and others.

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