Regional News

Rajasthan goes into lockdown mode to combat coronavirus

The Rajasthan government has ordered closure of schools, colleges, theatres till March 30 in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

However the ongoing Board exams will continue as scheduled. The decision will also not affect medical and nursing colleges.

The order came after chief minister Ashok Gehlot chaired a review meeting with officials at his residence late on Friday on the status of coronavirus in the state.

Gehlot said the decision was taken after a central government advisory to this effect.

The government also advised that marriages be low-key affairs without a large gathering.

During the lockdown, all musical and cultural programmes and staging of plays will also remain suspended.

Gehlot asked people not to panic but asked them to be vigilant. “I appeal to the people to restrict moving in crowded areas and use public transport only if necessary,” he said.

He said the state government took the severe decision for a lockdown after the central government advisory and the WHO and UN declaring coronavirus a pandemic.

The CM asked officials to undertake widespread publicity campaigns and issue advisories regularly.

Rohit Kumar Singh, additional chief secretary (health), said so far 370 people have been tested for the virus so far and only three have tested positive. He said three lakh people have been screened for the virus in the state.

Singh said the state has adopted the standard operating procedures handed out by the centre.

Patients will be divided into three categories based on travel to China, Democratic Republic of Korea, Italy, France, Germany Spain and Iran.

Category A are high risk passengers who have cold, cough shortness of breath and a history of travel to these countries 14 days prior to symptoms.

These patients will be segregated from other patients and kept in isolation.

Category B is moderate risk patients who are asymptomatic and have travelled to the above-mentioned countries. People above 60 years of age and those who have high blood pressure or diabetes are also covered in this category.

These patients would be shifted to quarantine facilities and will be monitored for 14 days.

Category C comprises asymptomatic patients coming from any Covid-19 affected countries. These patients will be quarantined at home and monitored by health officials, he said.

The civic bodies have been asked to identify buildings that can be used if the situation worsens.

The coronavirus spread could also impact the Rajasthan Diwas or Foundation Day celebrations of the state. The four-day celebrations from March 27 to 30 are likely to be scaled down.

Meanwhile, the Great Indian Travel Bazaar has been cancelled in view of coronavirus.

The travel and tourism mart was scheduled to be held from April 19-21 in Jaipur.

With the government suspending visas till April 16, foreign buyers would not be able to participate in the mart which depends on such buyers. Last year, 280 foreign buyers took part in the event. The GITB is organised jointly by the department of tourism and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry FICCI since 2008.

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