Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, on Monday, asked citizens to not panic and advised them to take all the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. CM Singh held a review meeting and then addressed the media.
Chief Minister @capt_amarinder Singh assures everyone that there is no need to panic on account of #COVID19. Everyone coming from abroad are being proactively screened & all necessary arrangements are in place. CM also urges Punjabis to take due precautions. pic.twitter.com/EUPad1quB2— CMO Punjab (@CMOPb) March 15, 2020
During the meeting, he took stock of the situation and the state's preparedness to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. The meeting was held with a seven-member Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted earlier by the CM. It comprises of Om Prakash Soni, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Razia Sultana, Balbir Singh Sidhu, Vijay Inder Singla and Bharat Bhushan Ashu.
He also declared that the closure of Kartarpur Corridor was only a temporary measure in view of the Coronavirus outbreak. The decision to close the Corridor in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak was a temporary precautionary measure aimed at checking the spread of the deadly disease, he pointed out, adding that there was no question of keeping it shut permanently.
Multiple states across the country have taken up measures to contain the spread of the virus, including shutting down schools, universities, malls and other places where a large number of people can gather. Multiple firms have also implemented work from home so as to not expose the employees to the virus.
The Union government announced a travel ban on and suspended all visas and stated that all existing visas, barring diplomatic, UN/International Organisations, employment and project visas, will stand suspended till April 15, 2020.
This advisory also applies for people with visa-free travel, and to OCI cardholders, whose visa-free access will be temporarily suspended with effect from March 13, 2020. However, the statement mentioned that any foreign national who intends to travel to India for any compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Embassy for further clarity or guidance.
The Ministry of External Affairs has also appointed an additional secretary level rank official as nodal officer to coordinate efforts at the global level regarding the spread of COVID-19.
Globally, around 6,000 people have died due to Coronavirus, with the epicentre being China. The virus has infected around 1,69,000 people globally and has now spread to North America, South America, Europe, New Zealand, and more than 100 other countries.