Telangana shuts schools, bans public gatherings

Telangana shuts schools, bans public gatherings

Hyderabad: In a precautionary move to check spread of coronavirus, the Telangana government here on Saturday ordered closure of all educational institutions and banned public gatherings till March 31. However, various board examinations will be conducted as scheduled.

The government also announced closure of cinema halls, pubs, bars, clubs, gyms, swimming pools, museums, zoo parks, indoor and outdoor stadiums. Shopping malls, super markets and shops will, however, remain open to avoid inconvenience to people.

After a cabinet meeting, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao told the media all public events and sports events stood cancelled. The government also restricted the total number of guests to 200 at the marriages already scheduled, while event halls were asked not to take new bookings.

He said strict action would be taken against those running the classes in violation of the order.

The Chief Minister said no public meetings, seminars, workshops, rallies, exhibitions, trade fairs and cultural events would be allowed. State-owned road transport corporation and Hyderabad Metro would continue to operate with adequate sanitization measures.

He said the steps were precautionary in nature and there was no need for panic. The government, he said, was fully geared up to deal with any eventuality.

The cabinet also sanctioned Rs 500 crore for measures required to check the spread of coronavirus.

He said 200 personnel had been deployed at the Hyderabad Airport to screen passengers.

The health authorities have arranged over 1,020 isolation beds and 321 intensive care unit beds for people with suspected symptoms. Quarantine facilities have been arranged at four places and 240 ventilators arranged.

KCR warned the media, especially the print media, that strict action would be taken for publishing or telecasting unconfirmed reports. He also pointed to some media outlets that were spreading false news about suspected cases in the state. He directed them to carry only the information provided by the health department.

The Chief Minister said since coronavirus was not ‘India-born’ disease and majority of those found affected had come from abroad, there was no need for panic.

He said Telangana recorded second coronavirus positive case on Saturday. A man, who had recently returned from Italy, tested positive.

Samples of two suspected cases have been sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for confirmation. A techie, the first to test positive for coronavirus, was discharged from hospital on Friday.