Telangana to be under lockdown till March 31

Hyderabad, March 22 (IANS): Telangana would be under lockdown till March 31 in a bid to to contain coronavirus spread, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao said here on Sunday.
Addressing the media, he urged people to stay indoors for another week to save themselves, the state and the country. There would be no curfew-like situation during the lockdown but more than five persons would not be allowed to assemble, he said.
“Only self-restraint can protect us, the state and the country,” he said adding the government will review the situation on March 31 to decide the future course of action. He also announced five more Covid-19 positive cases on Sunday, taking the total to 26.
Some essential services would be exempted from lockdown and a member from each family would be allowed to venture out to buy milk, vegetables and other essential items, he added.
He also said 87 lakh white ration cardholders would be provided 12 kg rice and Rs 1,500 for buying food items. It would would cost the government Rs.2,417 crore.
KCR, as he is popularly known, said since the daily wage workers employed in the construction industry and others would be affected, the employers would have to pay wages to them for the lockdown period. He said the government would also pay wages for its contract employees.
The Chief Minister said borders with the neighboring states would be shut and only the movement of trucks carrying essential items be permitted. All public transport services would remain suspended.
While government employees providing essential services will be on duty, in other departments only 20 per cent staff will be asked to attend duties on rotational basis.
Thanking people for making the ‘janata curfew’ a huge success, KCR said the same spirit should continue for another week. The state needed such measures to contain coronavirus spread, he said.
With the suspension of international flights, new cases could be checked, he said and added, the focus was on those who came from abroad this month. As many as 600 teams were working to track all those under home isolation.

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