The Delhi government on Sunday announced a lockdown of the Capital from 6 a.m. on Monday till midnight on March 31 to implement social distancing and isolation measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Delhi’s borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh will be sealed and all international and domestic flights arriving in the city would be suspended, the government said. The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation and various airlines were taken by surprise at the announcement, and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation later said that flight operations to and from Delhi would continue and the Indira Gandhi International Airport would continue to operate.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal announced the measures at a joint press conference on Sunday evening. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. We are fortunate that the virus reached India late and we can learn from the best practices taken up by other countries. People will face difficulties due to the lockdown but it is necessary to contain the spread of the virus,” said Mr. Kejriwal.
During the lockdown, there will be no public transport service or private buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws, rickshaws, and e-rickshaws.
The DTC buses will operate at 25% capacity to cater to personnel engaged in essential services. The DMRC has already announced that it has shut its services till March 31. The Delhi government said that “people are required to stay at home and come out only for basic services within the vicinity of their residences while strictly following social distancing”.