Friday, September 30, 2022

COVID-19: Rashtrapati Bhavan closed for visitors

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New Delhi: There is, of course, no need to panic about COVID-19 spread in India yet but at the same time not to take it easy at all. In a rare of a kind instance, the Rashtrapati Bhavan has been closed down for visitors. Rashtrapati Bhavan is where the President of India lives. “Tour of Rashtrapati Bhavan to remain closed from Friday, March 13 as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus” reads a press note issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan on its website. “It is a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19, the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex (RBMC) and the Change of Guard ceremony will not be open to the public till further notice” according to the news release.

Modi ministers foreign tours cancelled

“No Minister of the Central Government will travel abroad in the upcoming days. I urge our countrymen to also avoid non-essential travel. We can break the chain of spread and ensure the safety of all by avoiding large gatherings” tweeted PM Modi on Thursday evening.

“The Government is fully vigilant about the situation due to COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Across ministries & states, multiple steps have been proactively taken to ensure the safety of all. These steps are wide-ranging, from the suspension of Visas to augmenting healthcare capacities” said Prime Minister in his next tweet.

PM Modi urged people not to panic and avoid non-essential travel whether domestic or abroad.

A global pandemic

Earlier on Thursday according to IST, the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially declared Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) a global pandemic, with over 118,000 coronavirus cases sweeping across 114 countries of the world.

India’s response was initiated on 8th January, much before WHO declared COVID-19 as a public health emergency on January 30. States were directed for health sector preparedness on January 17. Same day, point of entry surveillance was also initiated. On Wednesday late night, the Government cancelled all existing visas (except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas) stand suspended till April 15, 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.

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