Bihar will go into a lockdown till May 15, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said today amid the incessant rise of COVID-19 cases in the state. The announcement came within hours of the Patna High Court ordering the government to declare a lockdown, warning that otherwise the court may step in.
The Chief Minister made the announcement today through social media posts a day after a meeting of all ministers and top officials to take a call on the matter.
“After discussion with the associate ministers and officials yesterday, it was decided to implement the lockdown in Bihar by May 15, 2021. In relation to its detailed guidelines and other activities, today the Crisis management group has been instructed to take action,” Mr Kumar said in his posts.
His government has formed a crisis management group to finalise the details of the move and to guide it.
The decision came on a day the state reported 11,407 fresh COVID-19 cases and 82 deaths, taking the state’s overall case load to over 5.09 lakh and more than 2,800 fatalities. India today reported 3,57,229 new COVID-19 cases and 3,449 deaths in the past 24 hours.
Earlier today, the Patna High Court issued an ultimatum to Bihar asking it to impose a lockdown in the state or else it would order one.
The state had earlier imposed a night curfew in the state till March 15. Mr Kumar had also announced free COVID-19 vaccination for all adults.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier called on states to only consider lockdowns as a last resort. By now, though, political allies, business leaders, and even the US government had suggested it as the only way to stem the world’s worst virus outbreak.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today tweeted saying that only way to stop the spread of the virus was a full lockdown.