After a sudden spike in the number of coronavirus cases, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday ordered three major cities Indore, Bhopal and Ujjain to be sealed completely. Alongside, the government has also announced a complete lockdown of 14 districts amid the coronavirus threat.
मुख्यमंत्री श्री @ChouhanShivraj के निर्देशानुसार भोपाल, उज्जैन और इंदौर ज़िले पूर्ण रूप से सील कर दिए गए हैं, साथ ही प्रदेश के 14 ज़िलों में #TotalLockdown किया गया है।— Office of Shivraj (@OfficeofSSC) April 8, 2020
ज़िला प्रशासन नागरिकों को अत्यावश्यक वस्तुओं की आपूर्ति सुनिश्चित करेगा। #IndiaFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/yiYSRMr1Zy
The state government also invoked the Essential Services Management Act (ESMA) in the state with immediate effect to combat COVID-19 to ensure essential supplies and services are operational during this crisis.
“The district administration should ensure the supply of essential commodities in these areas. No person will be able to go in and out of these areas. Services of all government departments and their resources should be taken in coronavirus related work,” Chouhan was quoted by ANI as saying.
The Chief Minister’s decision came after reviewing the situation with senior state officials.
According to the state health department, Indore has reported 173 positive cases of coronavirus, the maximum in the state. Bhopal has 96 active COVID-19 cases while 13 patients are undergoing treatment in Ujjain. Khargone and Morena have also reported 12 cases each. The state has reported over 10 COVID-19 related deaths so far.
Madhya Pradesh decision came after similar directives issued by the governments in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. While hotspots in 15 districts were sealed by the Yogi Adityanath government, Delhi also identified the worst-affected areas and ordered a complete lockdown, barring movement for all except health and sanitation workers.
Amid mounting concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Union health ministry has squarely blamed the Tablighi Jamaat for the sudden spike in the number of positive cases in the country. The Ministry maintained that last month’s Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi has pushed up the doubling rate of cases in India to 4.1 days from the estimated 7.4 days.
With 540 new cases reported in the past 24 hours, the total number of coronavirus cases in India has jumped to 5,734. The death toll from COVID-19 rose to 166 while 473 patients have been cured of the virus or discharged.