New Delhi: Amid rising coronavirus cases in India, the Narendra Modi-led Centre declared COVID-19 a ‘notified disaster’, in a bid to provide assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). In a two-page notification, the Centre listed out assistance to be provided from SDRF and asserted that the hospitalisation cost of coronavirus patients will also be taken care of at the rate fixed by the state government. Also Read - Coronavirus: US House Passes COVID-19 Relief Package as Death Toll Rises to 50
Besides, the state government can use SDRF found for providing temporary accommodation, food, clothing and medical care for people affected and sheltered in quarantine camps, other than home quarantine, or for cluster containment operations. Also Read - Coronavirus: Newborn in UK Becomes Youngest COVID-19 Patient, Says Report
This comes after the confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose to 84. Of the total 84 confirmed cases of coronavirus in India, 10 people have fully recovered and been discharged, said Sanjeeva Kumar, Special Secretary (Health), Union Health Ministry. Also Read - Coronavirus Impact in India: List of Things That Got Dearer, Cheaper
“Contact tracing of these cases has led to the identification of over 4000 contacts who have been put under surveillance”, the Health Ministry official added.
The government also announced Rs 4 lakh ex-gratia to the family of the person who will lose their life due to coronavirus, including those involved in relief operations or associated in response activities.
State, UT-wise List of Confirmed COVID-19 Cases
States Under Lockdown
As a precautionary measure, several states ordered closure of schools, colleges, public institutions and cinema halls till March 31.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration issued prohibitory orders in Kishtwar and Ramban districts, restricting assembly of more than five persons at any public place.
The Goa government also announced closure of casinos, swimming pools and pubs from Sunday midnight. “All schools, colleges, casinos, boat cruises, and disco clubs closed till 31st March in the state. However, Senior Secondary Certificate (SSC) & Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) exams will be conducted as per schedule”, Goa CM Pramod Sawant stated.
The Punjab government ordered a shutdown of cinema halls and banned public gatherings including cultural events till further notice to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Similarly, the BJP-led Assam government also banned functions like public meeting, ‘Nam Kirtan’, ‘Bhaona’, ‘Geeta Path’, etc with immediate effect until further order in Sivasagar district.
The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) suspended all classes, including sessional tests, till March 22 as a precautionary measure. All conferences, workshops, educational tours and sports programmes have been postponed till March 31 though examinations of the university and schools will be held according to schedule.
Malls, beaches and other public gathering spots to remain closed in Trivandrum till further notice.
Padma Awards Postponed
The Padma Award ceremonies scheduled to be held on March 26 and April 3 have been postponed in view of the coronavirus outbreak. The Padma Awards, one of the highest civilian honours of the country, are conferred in three categories — Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. The Padma Awards were announced on the eve of Republic Day.
The awards are given in various disciplines and fields of activities like art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports, civil service, etc. These awards are conferred by the President at ceremonial functions held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
PM to Lead India at a video conference of SAARC at 5 PM
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead India at a video conference of all SAARC nations at 5 pm on Sunday to chalk out a joint strategy to fight coronavirus in the region, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
“Coming together for common good! 15 March, 1700 IST. PM Narendra Modi will lead India at the video conference of all SAARC member countries, to chalk out a strong common strategy to fight COVID-19 in the region,” MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.
Earlier on Friday, Modi had proposed formulation of a joint strategy by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations to fight coronavirus, a suggestion that was backed by all the member states.