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    A total of approximately one billion people worldwide were confined to their homes after the death toll crosses the 11,000 mark as on 21st March 2020. Following this, United States has rolled out lockdown measures which are already in place in areas across Europe.

    How this virus has affected lives?

    This pandemic has completely shattered lives across the globe, restricting movement of the individual, shutting schools and colleges and forcing a huge number of people to work from home. This virus death toll has passed the 11,000 mark with 4,000 alone in worst-hit Italy where the daily number of fatalities has shot up relentlessly over the past week (approximately 800 on 21st March 2020). According to an official record, an estimated 900 million people are now confined to their homes in approximately 35 countries across the globe which also includes 600 million who are hemmed in by the obligatory government lockdown orders.

    What is the situation across the globe?

    Italy reported its worst single day death toll on 21st March with approximately 793 deaths in a single day taking its total death toll to 4,825 despite its effort to stem the spread. This nation of 60 million now accounts for 36% of the world's COVID-19 deaths and its death rate of 8.6% among confirmed infections is significantly higher than that in most other countries.

    France, Italy, Spain and other European countries have ordered people to stay at their homes, threatening them with fines in some cases.

    Consequently, Bavaria became the first region in Germany to order a lock-down. Britain also announced restrictions to pubs, restaurants and theatres to shut down immediately. 

    In case of United States, its largest State California - with over 1,000 cases and 19 deaths - has also announced for its citizen to stay at home. California has been followed by New York State, which has reported 7,000 cases and 39 deaths.

    What is the scenario in India?(As of 22nd March 2020)

    According to the data provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India now has a total of 360 positive coronavirus cases and a seven people have died from the disease. A total of 16,999 samples from 16,109 individuals have been tested for COVID-19 as of 10:00 am on March 22. 

    Further, India reported two deaths  today from the highly contagious virus - one each in Maharashtra and Bihar - taking the tally to seven, as per state authorities. 

    Maharashtra, which has maximum cases in the country, witnessed the death of a 63-year-old COVID19 patient with a chronic history of diabetes, high blood pressure and ischemic heart disease. In Bihar, a 38-year-old, who passed away due to kidney failure, had been tested positive for the virus.

    69-year-old man, who had tested positive for COVID-19, passed away in Gujarat's Surat on 22nd March. It is the first death in the state due to the virus and 7th death reported in the nation. 

    To check the spread of the coronavirus, the country is observing a 'Janta Curfew', from 7 am to 9 pm on Prime Minister Modi's appeal. The chief ministers of Punjab and Haryana have ordered statewide lockdowns till March 31 to curb the spread of the virus which has infected over 2 lakh globally. In India, 23 people who were tested positive have been discharged after treatment, as per Health Ministry figures. 

    As part of the effort to curb the virus, a series of steps has been taken by the centre as well as the respective state governments. These are as follows:
    • Karnataka government has ordered that all public transport will remain cancelled in the state on 23rd March as well. All AC bus services will stay suspended till 31 March. After the Janta curfew concludes at 9 pm, Section 144 will be imposed in the state from 9 pm till midnight. 
    • Centre on Sunday asked state governments to impose a complete lockdown in 75 districts across the country that have reported COVID-19 cases and casualties, and suspended all train services, including Metro and sub-urban services, to contain the infection. Some of the prominent cities included in the list are - MumbaiNagpurPuneEast DelhiNorth DelhiNorth West Delhi, North East Delhi, South Delhi, West Delhi, Ahmedabad, Gurugram, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata. Only essential services will operate in these 75 districts and state governments have been asked to expand the list depending on their assessment of the situation.
    • 15 Uttar Pradesh districts, including Lucknow to be under lockdown till 25 March as announced by the Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath. These 15 districts includes: Agra, Lucknow, Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Varanasi, Lakhimpur Khiri, Bareilly, Azamgarh, Kanpur, Meerut, Prayagraj, Aligharh, Gorakhpur and Saharanpur.
    • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced that Delhi will be under complete lockdown from 23rd March 6 am till midnight of 31 March. During the lockdown, no public transport will operate and Delhi's borders will be sealed but the essential services related to health, food, water and power supply will continue. Dairiesgrocery shopschemists and petrol pumps will remain open and persons associated with essential services will be allowed to go to their destinations during the lockdown.
    • Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has declared a lockdown till 31 March in the state, under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 as a precautionary measure.
    • Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has announced that a lockdown has been imposed in seven districts of the state till 31 March.
    • The Goa government extended Janata curfew in the state till 25 March in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
    • Bihar will enforce lockdown in all district headquarters, municipal towns and block headquarters till 31 March, according to the Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, adding that all essential services will continue in the state.
    • All types of commercial vehicles, including buses and tempos, will remain off the roads in Assam till 24th March announced The All Assam Motor Transport Association (AAMTA)
    • Moving towards a complete lockdown, the Andhra Pradesh government announced the closure of inter-state borders for transport till March 31 and asked people to step out of their homes only for essential needs.
    • The Jammu and Kashmir administration on ordered the shutdown of all establishments except those providing essential services and commodities across the Union Territory till 31 March.
    • Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district locked down indefinitely.

    What is the concern now?

    According to the World Health Organization, even if the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions are the hardest hit by the virus, the young people are also equally vulnerable. This is not the kind of virus which can be tackled with lockdown measures alone. There stands our "social responsibility" to step forward and inform the authorities if we are infected and not simply put lives of our fellow citizens at risk.

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