A deserted view of a market as shops are closed amid rising cases of COVID-19. (Image Courtesy: ANI)

The novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 315 on Saturday after more than 60 fresh cases were reported in various parts of the country, the Union Health Ministry said.

A total of 16,911 samples from 16,021 individuals have been tested for SARS-CoV2as as on March 21, 6 PM, the Indian Council of Medical Research said in a statement.

While addressing the nation on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to follow ‘Janta Curfew’ from 7 am to 9 pm on Sunday to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.

A day ahead of the Janta curfew, several states restricted inter-state transport as a measure of social distancing to contain the spread of highly contagious coronavirus.

Four states- Maharashtra, Goa, Bihar, West Bengal- have sealed their borders for buses from March 22 to March 31 in order to contain the spread of the virus.  Mizoram, on the other hand, has suspended inner line permits.

Goa sealed its borders with Maharashtra and Karnataka. Maharashtra is the epicenter of the virus in the country with 63 positive cases so far which includes three foreigners.

West Bengal has banned buses from other states till March 31 and the state has reported three positive cases of the virus.

Bihar has suspended all inter-state bus services till March 31, meanwhile, Odisha decides to lockdown five districts till March 29 to contain the highly contagious virus.

Delhi Metro, which witnesses more than 60 lakh passenger journeys in a day, has also decided to shut its operations for the entire day on March 22.

More than 3700 trains and numerous flights have been cancelled on March 22 to keep up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for the country to observe the ‘Janata Curfew’.

Indian Railways cancelled all passenger trains whose time of origin falls between 0000 hours and 10 pm on March 22. In addition, all those trains, which will be empty can also be short terminated on March 22.

All long-distance mail, express and inter-city trains, whose time of origin falls between 4 am and 10 pm of March 22, will also not run. This will mean cancellation of nearly 1300 such trains.

In the case of airlines, GoAir, will not operate any flight on March 22 in a show of support to Janata curfew call. Additionally, IndiGo will operate 60 percent of its domestic flights on March 22. Going forward, the Gurgaon-based airline has decided to operate 25 percent fewer flights on the domestic network.

Earlier on Saturday, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry said that a total of 111 labs for testing coronavirus across the country will be functional.

Agarwal also said that the states have been asked to use the National Health Mission funds for their health sector preparedness.

“As of today, we are contact-tracing around 7,000 cases. Once we get factual information on community transmission cases we will let people know,” he added.


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