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New Delhi, March 25, 2020
In the wake of the unprecedented lockdown across India to curb the spread of coronavirus which has infected more than 600 people so far, the government on Wednesday banned toll collection on national highways across the country.
In a letter to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) Chairman, the Ministry, citing the Home Ministry order on the lockdown after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement, said it maintained all commercial and private establishments will be closed down for a period of 21 days with effect from 25.03.2020 for containment of COVID-19 epidemic.
Asking the NHAI to take necessary steps for compliance, the Ministry said that the situation be deemed a "force majeure" in the contract/concession agreement.
There are at least 606 confirmed coronavirus cases in India as of Wednesday and 10 deaths, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.