Several states have decided to bring in curfew during the night in districts witnessing a spike in the cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) among other measures to contain the spread of infections. Authorities in several districts of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan have imposed night curfew. Under the Union home ministry’s orders states cannot impose a complete lockdown without its permission.
Here are the details of the night curfews in place in these states:
The Madhya Pradesh government has decided to impose night curfew in five districts, including Covid-19 hotspots of Bhopal, Indore and Gwalior, from Saturday as the state reported 1,500 cases on Friday – the highest for the state in the past 40 days. The government also decided to close schools up to Class 8 till December 31.
The night curfew will be observed from 10pm to 6am in the five worst-affected districts of Bhopal, Ratlam, Vidisha, Indore and Gwalior from Saturday. The night curfew will not be applicable to people engaged in essential services, transportation of goods and night shifts of factories. The district administrations have also been asked to ensure implementation of Covid-19 guidelines and also asked people to use mask and sanitiser.
Official data shows the positivity rate in Madhya Pradesh on Friday doubled to 4.8% from that on November 5, which was about one percentage point higher than the national average. Most number of Covid-19 cases were being reported from Bhopal and Indore, which had witnessed first wave of Covid-19 in May and June, a health department official, who is privy to the data, said.
Authorities have imposed a 57-hour curfew in Ahmedabad amid the surging cases of the coronavirus disease, which are being described as the third wave of infections. The government has also announced a night curfew between 9pm and 6am in Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara from Saturday. A night curfew has been already announced in Ahmedabad from 9pm next Monday.
In addition to the curfew, the state government has also put off its decision to reopen schools and colleges from November 23. The Gujarat Public Services Commission (GPSC) has also postponed exams to recruit medical teachers, which were to begin on November 22, official statements said.
The decision to impose night curfew was taken after the state recorded 1,340 cases, the highest surge in infections in 47 days. In the 24 hours to Friday, Gujarat recorded 1,420 Covid-19 cases, taking the state tally to 194,402. It also recorded seven new fatalities due to the virus, with the death toll now at 3,837, according to the health bulletin released by the state government on Friday.
In Rajasthan, the government has imposed a night curfew in the eight most affected districts and a Rs 500 fine on those not wearing masks. Markets, restaurants, shopping malls and other commercial institutions in the urban area of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Bikaner, Udaipur, Ajmer, Alwar and Bhilwara will be open till 7pm.
Night curfew will remain in place in the urban areas of these districts from 8pm to 6am. Those going to attend a wedding ceremony, people related to essential services, and those travelling on buses, trains and planes will be exempted during the period. The presence of personnel in government and private institutions, which have more than 100 personnel, shall not exceed 75% in these districts. Employees of the state government will be called on a rotational basis.
Rajasthan recorded the highest number of Covid-19 cases in a single day on Saturday with 3,007 people testing positive. The state reported an 8.8% increase in Covid-19 cases on Saturday, which took the total number of infections to 240,676.