Coronavirus pandemic: Governments across the world shutting down offices for disinfection

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Mar 13, 2020, 09:29 AM IST

The US Capitol Dome during the first evening of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial January 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. Photograph:(AFP)

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President of India's residence and office — Rashtrapati Bhavan will be closed starting March 13 as a measure to contain the spread of the virus.

The deadly coronavirus is officially a pandemic.  It has spread to all continents. Except for Antarctica, infecting over 1,27,000 people. 

The death toll due to the infection now stands at 4,718. Governments across the world are shutting down offices to the public and have advised people to venture out only for food and medical supplies.

Also read: Covid-19 pandemic: India reports first death as cases reach 73

The United States Congress has shut capitol building to the public until April, in a reaction to the rapid spread of coronavirus. In a statement, Paul Irving, the sergeant at arms of the US House representatives said Congressional office buildings and congressional visitor centre will be under lockdown. 

However, only lawmakers, capitol staff, journalists and visitors with official business will be allowed to enter the buildings.

But the United States is not the only country to restrict entry into government buildings. India which has reported over 70 cases so far has also adopted restrictions.

President of India's residence and office — Rashtrapati Bhavan will be closed starting March 13 as a measure to contain the spread of the virus. A statement from the presidential house also said that Rashtrapati Bhavan museum complex and change of guard ceremony will not be open to the public until further notice.

In Germany, where positive cases have surged to 2,078 and three people have died, all government offices are also under restriction. Merkel might have not closed borders, but the several official buildings and public spaces are under lockdown.

Germany has also decided to postpone the congress session to choose a new leader due to the lethal outbreak.

Ministers and public officials in Spain have decided to hold all meetings via a video conference. Prime minister Pedro Sanchez said that starting March 12, all meetings with other ministers would be online via the internet. The decision to restrict access in government buildings in Spain comes after a minister in the cabinet was diagnosed with the virus. 

Government buildings in manila are also under lockdown. In a letter addressing all employees in government buildings, the local authorities have requested people to work from home. Asia development bank and government service insurance system in the Philippines are also closed as of now.

Other countries like China, Italy and South Korea which are severely affected by coronavirus are under complete lockdown. Most schools and universities in these countries have also suspended their classes--and the remaining public spaces are being constantly disinfected by the authorities.