Newdelhi:23/3/20:All domestic commercial airlines will cease their operations from tomorrow mid-night. Giving this information today, Ministry of Civil Aviation informed that the restrictions shall not apply to cargo carrying flights. Briefing media in New Delhi, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Agarwal said, 19 States and Union Territories have issued orders for complete lockdown. These States and Union Territories include Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Arunanchal Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura, Telangana, Chattisgarh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
He said, Cabinet Secretary has asked the Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories to implement the restrictions strictly and action must be taken against the prohibitors. Home Secretary in the meeting with Director General of Police of the States have asked them to impose restrictions in stricter manner. Mr Agarwal informed that 415 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country so far with seven deaths. He said, the main objective is to break the chain of transmission. He said, government is augmenting its health care capacities and states have been requested to prepare dedicated hospitals for treatment of Corona patients.
Indian Council of Medical Reasearch Director General Dr Balram Bhargav said, instructions have been issued to conduct the test and 12 laboratories chains having 15 thousand collection centres have started testing. He said, two kit manufacturers have been approved so far. On the use of drug Hydroxy-chloroquine as prophylaxis for COVID infection, he said, it can be given to asymptomatic health care workers involved in the care of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 and asymptomatic household contact of laboratory confirmed cases. He refuted the reported shortage of Hydroxy-chloroquine and said there are enough stock in the country.
Joint Secretary in Depatment of Consumer Affairs Vineet Mathur said, there are no shortage of essential items in the country. Additional Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs Dammu Ravi has said that a flight will bring the stranded Indians from Kuala Lampur, Malaysia by today.