Two residents of Munger district in Bihar tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the state to six, an official said. According to Pradip Das, the director of Rajendra Medical Research Institute here, samples were collected of 55 people who had come in contact with a 38-year-old who got infected with the virus and died last Saturday, a day before his test results arrived. Of them, two tested positive, he added.
Meanwhile, more than 500 vehicles were seized across Bihar on the first day of nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, when nine people also ended up being arrested for defying the restrictions, a top police official said.
According to Additional Director General of Police (Headquarters), Jitendra Kumar, the number of vehicles impounded till 1800 hours stood at 531, while the number of FIRs registered was 41 and fines to the tune of Rs 15,87,800 were slapped against those found guilty of violating the
lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the previous day, effective from midnight.
The notification to the effect issued by the National Disaster Management Authority provides for penalizing those found willfully disobeying the restrictions in place under the relevant sub-clause of the Disaster Management Act and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
With a citizenry not known for abidance with law, the state has been witness to restrictions being more honoured in the breach than in the observance.
Immediately after the Prime Ministers address, a mad scramble for grocery, fruits, vegetables, milk and medicines was witnessed on Tuesday night with crowds jostling for space at the few outlets that were doing business in Bihar where a state-wide lockdown had been in force since Sunday night, imposed by the Nitish Kumar government.
A horrified Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi issued a late-night message urging the people to avoid thronging marketplaces, thereby defeating the very objective of social distancing.
He assured that availability of essential items will remain unhindered during the nationwide lockdown effective till April 14 just as was promised by the state government when it imposed restrictions for a period ending on March 31.