Coronavirus: Kejriwal shuts cinema halls, schools; orders offices to disinfect premises daily

Updated on Mar 12, 2020 06:34 PM IST
The Delhi government has declared coronavirus an epidemic, and has enforced strict measures to control the spread of coronavirus.
People seen wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19, at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi on Thursday.(Amal KS/HT Photo)
People seen wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of Covid-19, at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi on Thursday.(Amal KS/HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

All cinema halls and multiplexes in national capital Delhi will remain shut till March 31 as a preventive step to contain the spreading of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday. He also announced that all schools and colleges not having any examination will also be shut till March 31.

Kejriwal further said that the offices, shops and malls, which have not been shut down, will have to disinfect the premises every day.

The decisions were taken in a review meeting chaired by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday afternoon where Kejriwal, state health minister Satyendar Jain and top officials of the Delhi government were present.

“We need to exercise abundant caution to contain the disease. All cinema halls, schools, colleges in Delhi will be shut until March 31, but exams will continue as scheduled. People are advised to stay away from public gatherings,” Kejriwal said on Twitter. 

The chief minister also said that the government is ramping up its quarantine facilities. “Empty flats under the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) and our under construction hospitals like the one in Burari will be used as additional quarantine facility, if needed. We already have more than 500 quarantine beds ready in various hospitals across the city,” he said.

Kejriwal also said the Delhi government has declared coronavirus an epidemic from Thursday. This comes a day after the central government decided that all states should be advised to invoke the necessary provisions of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 to enforce all advisories.

With fresh cases reported from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Ladakh, the number of people who are Covid-19 positive has gone up to 73, the Union health ministry said on Thursday.

Out of the 73 confirmed cases (17 of them foreign nationals) in the country, Kerala has the maximum number of positive cases for novel coronavirus at 17.

World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday had declared the coronavirus outbreak a ‘pandemic’ and expressed deep concern.

Coronavirus which originated in the Wuhan city of China has so far spread to more than 90 countries infecting over 1,10,000 people.

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    Sweta Goswami writes on urban development, transport, energy and social welfare in Delhi. She prefers to be called a storyteller and has given voice to several human interest stories. She is currently cutting her teeth on multimedia storytelling.

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