RANCHI: With COVID-19 cases rising rapidly and following a demand from all political and non-political organizations, Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Tuesday finally announced a complete lockdown in the State. As per sources in the State Government, the lockdown will be effective from 6:00 am on April 22 to 6:00 pm on April 29, which may be extended further after looking at the current situation.
Essential services, however, will be exempted during the weeklong lockdown, sources said, adding that all offices, barring those of the central and state government along with some other private offices identified by the Government, will also remain closed.
"To break the chain of coronavirus, we have decided to observe 'Swasthya Suraksha Saptah' from April 22 to April 29 under which all the shops and business establishments will remain closed except those selling essential items. All offices, barring those of Government of India, State Government and some other private offices identified by the Government, will also remain closed," said CM Soren.
Meanwhile, mining, industry, construction and agricultural activities will continue as usual, he added.
"Though religious places will remain open all over the State, there will be a restriction on the entry of devotees," said Soren. The assembly of more than five people at any place will also be restricted, he added.
Soren further added that nobody will be allowed to come out of their homes without having any permission granted by the district administration. The Chief Minister believes that the spread of coronavirus can be prevented with public participation only and hence everyone should ensure his or her participation in it.
Notably, BJP legislative party leader Babulal Marandi releasing a video on social media on Monday had demanded a complete lockdown in Jharkhand to break the chain of coronavirus. The decision was taken after a high-level meeting of CM Soren with top officials in the state government at his official residence in Ranchi.
As per the data released by National Health Mission (NHM), the active caseload of Covid-19 in Jharkhand crossed the 30000 mark while the Covid toll jumped above 1500 on Monday as the state reported 4290 cases and 46 casualties in the past 24 hours. Ranchi, which already has an active caseload of over 10,000, reported 1404 fresh cases on the day -- the highest among the 24 districts in Jharkhand, it indicated.
The state capital also reported 14 Covid fatalities, which took the toll in the district to 381, the NHM stated in a bulletin released on Monday night. At least 11737 Ranchi residents were battling the viral infection by the end of Monday. Barring Ranchi, no other district reported a spike of over 1000 cases on the day.
In the wake of the surge in coronavirus 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 have imposed self-lockdown from Monday.