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Published On: Sat, Mar 14th, 2020

India Declares Coronavirus A Notified Disaster

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Coronavirus_Doctors_Patient_Hospital_Bed_1296x728-headerNEW DELHI : Even as a 68-year-old woman in Delhi became India’s second victim of coronavirus, a national emergency was declared in the United States on Friday over the fast spreading coronavirus to free up $50 billion in federal aid.
US President Donald Trump also said he would “most likely” be tested for the virus himself soon after facing possible exposure. Meanwhile, the Rashtrapati Bhavan has closed all public tour visits from Friday as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus.
Rashtrapati Bhavan’s official spokesman said the presidential house will remain closed for exploratory tour visit from Friday till further orders. The Change of Guard ceremony will not be open to public till further notice,” it said.
India has launched a containment lockdown, according to experts, with several States closing schools, colleges and theatres and cancelling public events. Amid mounting concern over the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Delhi government invoked provisions of the Epidemic Act and directed the closure of all educational institutions and cinema halls in the state till March 31.

“All cinema halls to remain shut in Delhi till 31st March. Schools and colleges where exams are not being held will also remain closed,” CM Arvind Kejriwal said. He  The Delhi government’s decision came shortly after a fresh case of COVID-19 was reported in the national capital.
The government has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country a “notified disaster”, in a move it called “a special one-time dispensation”, to contain the spread of the infectious virus. In a brief two-page release this evening the government said money from each state’s Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) would be used for temporary accommodation and supply of food, water and medical care for patients and people in quarantine camps.
The second page of the Home Ministry notification was amended to remove reference to compensation. As per an earlier letter from the Home Ministry, Rs 4 lakh was to be given to families of those whose deaths have been linked to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Cost of hospitalisation for those being treated was also to have been fixed by state governments.
However, these two points were apparently removed in a later notification.As per the original letter, compensation amount of Rs 4 lakh was announced Today’s notification comes a day after central ministry officials briefed the media on steps being taken and cautioned against panicking, saying the outbreak was “not a health emergency”.
There are over 80 confirmed COVID-19 cases in India, with at least two deaths linked to the virus. A 68-year-old woman who died in Delhi on Friday night and a 76-year-old man who died in north Karnataka on Thursday both tested positive.
Also as part of its response, the government has shut borders to existing visas – except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment and project – till April 15.

The COVID-19 outbreak began in a market in China’s Wuhan district in December last year and has claimed over 5,000 lives and infected 1.3 lakh people since. The World Health Organisation has declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic, meaning it has spread worldwide and affected huge number of people.
(With Agency Inputs ).

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