Speaking to reporters, officials said coronavirus — which is already declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) is not a health emergency.
Ironically, this statement comes on a day when the Delhi government went into a shutdown. The Arvind Kejriwal government temporarily shut cinema halls, schools and colleges.
On Friday, the government stated, “No person/institution/organisation will issue any information regarding coronavirus in print or electronic media without the permission of the Ministry of Health or Delhi government. If anyone is found to be doing this, it will be considered a punishable offence”.
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa also banned cinema halls, pubs, wedding ceremonies and other large gatherings in the state for a week. Maharashtra too went the same way.
In this context, the government officials calling coronavirus as “not a health emergency” is bizarre, given it has infected 1,31,500 people in 116 countries and territories and there are 81 active cases in India alone.