NEW DELHI, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The Delhi state government on Thursday declared COVID-19 as an epidemic and shut down all cinema halls till March 31.
Besides, all schools and colleges where the annual examinations had ended would also be shut till the month end.
Announcing his government's decision, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal told press, "COVID-19 had been declared an epidemic in the Indian capital."
Delhi was the second state in India to declare COVID-19 as an epidemic on Thursday. Earlier, the government of northern state of Haryana had also declared the virus an epidemic.
According to the official data issued by the country's Ministry of Health, as many as six Indian nationals had tested positive for COVID-19 in Delhi, while 14 foreign nationals (all Italians) were kept in a quarantine facility in Haryana.
So far, a total of 74 COVID-19 cases had been detected in India, out of which the first three cases found in southern state of Kerala had been successfully cured.
The decisions of two state governments to declare COVID-19 an epidemic on Thursday assumed significance as it came a day after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it an pandemic.
Earlier during the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the countrymen not to panic and follow precautions. He also declared that none of his ministers will travel abroad in the coming days.