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Coronavirus: Delhi government closes restaurants, bans gatherings of more than 20 people

Delhi government on Thursday ordered the closing of all restaurants and curbing of social gatherings above 20 people in order to check the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Holding a press conference, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced the closure of all restaurants and educational institutions including IIT Delhi.

“We have decided to close restaurants in Delhi till March 31. Eating at restaurants will be prohibited but take away of foods or delivery of food will continue,” he said.

Imposing stricter curbs on social gatherings, Kejriwal announced, “20 or more people will not be allowed to gather at any place for social, cultural, religious, academic, seminar or conferences purposes in the state. Earlier, 50 or more people were not allowed to gather.”

Taking a cue from other states, Delhi, too, will now start stamping people who have been asked to stay in home quarantine upon their arrival in India. Arvind Kejriwal also said that the government will be taking strict action against those who flee quarantine.

“If such persons don’t keep themselves in quarantine, the government will be forced to arrest them and lodge an FIR against them,” he said.

Giving details about the steps taken by the Delhi government for coronavirus preparedness, Arvind Kejriwal said that the city has availability of 768 beds of which only 57 are currently being used. He said the state also has 550 beds in isolation wards.

“We have succeeded in keeping coronavirus at the containment stage and it is not at the community level,” he said.

The chief minister also said that Delhi has reported 10 positive cases of coronavirus of which one person has died and three have recovered. He added that the other six patients are in good condition.

Kejriwal also appealed people to not panic after one suspected patient of coronavirus committed suicide from Delhi’s Safdurjung Hospital on Wednesday.

Non-essential government services will be discontinued from Friday, he added.

“All state buses, Inter State Bus Terminals and metro trains are being disinfected on a daily basis. Private transport vehicles will also be disinfected at every bus depots from 10 am to 6 pm daily free of cost,” he said.

The Delhi government has also urged all citizens to not step out of home unless absolutely necessary. Elderly citizens have been asked to stay in especially.

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