Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Pramod Kumar Mishra held a meeting with Chief Secretaries of all the States to review the situation regarding the outbreak of coronavirus.
In the meeting, it was agreed that there is an urgent need to extend restrictions on the movement of non-essential passenger transport including inter-state transport buses till March 31.
Soon after the discussion, states have announced lockdowns till at least March 31, suspending all public transport services and non-essential services. The State governments were advised to issue appropriate orders to allow only essential services to operate in the 75 districts which have reported confirmed cases or casualties relating to COVID 19. The State Governments may expand the list depending on their assessment of the situation.
The Indian railways also cancelled all passenger trains till March 31 in order to mitigate the outbreak of Coronavirus. "No train except goods trains will run till 2400 hrs of March 31. However, a bare minimum of suburban services and the Kolkata Metro Rail service will continue to run till 2400 hours of March 22. Thereafter, these services will also be stopped till 2400 hours of March 31," a spokesperson of the Indian Railways said.
At least 341 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in India with at least seven reported deaths.
The Union government on Thursday announced that no international flights will be allowed to land in the country for a week from March 22.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday addressed the nation and appealed to all citizens to "step-out of your homes only when absolutely necessary. As far as possible, try and do your work, whether related to business or job, from home."
Globally, more than 13,000 people have died due to Coronavirus, with the epicenter being China. The virus has infected around 3,08,000 people globally and has now spread to North America, South America, Europe, New Zealand, and several other countries of the world.
(with inputs from agencies)