Bhopal, March 17: With the number of coronavirus infections increasing rapidly in many parts of Madhya Pradesh, the state government has imposed a night curfew in Bhopal and Indore from Wednesday night. The government has also directed that those people who commute by buses must wear face masks to protect against the pandemic.

As many as 264 Covid-19 patients have emerged in Indore and 199 in Bhopal. The number of Covid patients has surpassed 800 in a single day in the state. Bhopal and Indore have reported the maximum number of Covid cases. At the same time, there are eight more districts where Covid cases are increasing and where special precautions would be taken.

The markets in Jabalpur, Gwalior, Ujjain, Ratlam, Chhindwara, Burhanpur, Betul and Khargone districts would close at 10 p.m.

The Madhya Pradesh government has decided that the thermal screening of persons coming from Maharashtra would continue. Such passengers would have to stay in home quarantine for a week.

During a review meeting of the Transport Department, Govind Singh Rajput, the Madhya Pradesh Transport and Revenue Minister, said in view of the increase in Covid-19 cases, wearing masks should be made compulsory for bus passengers. If any passenger is found without a mask in the buses, then legal action would be taken against the bus owner, driver and the bus conductor.

Talking about road accidents, Rajput said one of the major reasons behind this is buses not plying with enough of a time gap. An interval of one to two minutes after being issued permits increases competition among buses, forcing the drivers to drive at high speed under pressure to arrive on time. Due to this, there is a constant possibility of accidents taking place.

To rectify this, it is necessary that before issuing the permits, the transport department officials should ensure that there is sufficient time gap between the buses.

Rajput said that a commercial driving license is an important step taken by the Madhya Pradesh government in the direction of making women 'Aatmanirbhar' or 'Self-reliant'. In this connection, a driving training centre for women has been opened in Indore. Apart from this, women would also be imparted training for commercial driving.