The Jharkhand government on Tuesday (April 20) announced a lockdown in the state with Chief minister Hemant Soren appealing to the people to follow lockdown rules and observe it as ‘Swasthya suraksha saptah’ (health protection week).
Jharkhand joins Delhi in announcing a week-long lockdown after the state reported 3,992 fresh COVID cases in the last 24 hours with its death toll rising to 1,456 after 50 more fatalities. Delhi 240 deaths – the highest registered in a single day – and 23,686 fresh cases in the last 24 hours.
The Jharkhand lockdown will start at 6 am on April 22 and will continue till 6 pm on April 29. The government has assured that essential services will be allowed to operate. All religious places will remain open, however, gathering of devotees will not be allowed.
Mining, agricultural and construction activities will be allowed during the lockdown.
The government said the decision to impose the lockdown was taken in order to break the chain of transmission of the pandemic. During the lockdown, all shops except those engaged in essential services will remain closed.
All offices apart from those of the Central and state government and some others that have been exempted, will remain closed during the lockdown period. Gatherings involving more than five people have also been banned throughout the state.
On Monday (April 19), Jharkhand had 28,010 active cases while the total number of recovered people is 1,33,479.
Of the 50 deaths reported on Monday, 17 were in East Singhbhum district and 11 in state capital Ranchi. The remaining deaths were registered in other districts.
Following the surge in COVID cases, several businessmen in Jharkhand have already decided to impose self-lockdown and closed their business establishments. The state capital’s largest retail market — Shastri Market — along with several other business houses and establishments imposed self-lockdown from April 19.