Ministry of Home Affairs: All you need to know about the revised guidelines for lockdown
In the wake of the number of positive COVID-19 cases increasing rapidly in India, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has issued fresh guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19 in India and to mitigate hardship to the public. Several activities related to- agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, etc. will be operational. However, the consolidated guidelines will not be applied in the containment zones demarcated by States/UTs/District Administrations. If any new area is marked as a containment zone, then the activities in that area will be suspended.
Prohibited activities till May 3, 2020:
1- All domestic and international air travel of passengers except for security and other exempted purposes will be prohibited in the country.
2- Movement of all passenger trains is prohibited, except for security purposes.
3- Buses, metro rail services, taxi, rickshaw, auto-rickshaw, cabs are suspended for public transport.
4- Movement of individuals inter-district or inter-state is prohibited except for medical reasons or activities which are permitted under these guidelines.
5- All educational institutions - training, coaching, etc. shall remain closed.
6- All industrial and commercial activities will also be prohibited except for those specially permitted under the guidelines.
7- Hospitality services except those specifically permitted under the guidelines will be prohibited.
8- All the theatres, malls, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, etc. will remain closed.
9- All gatherings- social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions are prohibited. Religious congregations are also prohibited.
10- The funeral congregation is allowed with not more than twenty persons.
However, the areas which are marked as hotspots, the activities permitted under the consolidated guidelines will remain suspended except for essential services.
The selected activities allowed will come into effect from April 20, 2020:
To mitigate the hardship to the public, selected additional activities will be allowed which will come into effect from April 20, 2020:
1- All the health services will be functional-- AYUSH, Hospital, nursing homes, clinics, telemedicine facilities, path labs, veterinary hospitals, dispensaries, medical labs, etc.
2- All kinds of medicine shops-- Dispensaries, chemists, pharmacies, Jan Aushadhi Kendras and medical equipment shops.
3- Authorised private establishments extending help in the containment of COVID-19.
4- Manufacturing units of drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, medical oxygen, packaging, raw materials and intermediates.
5- Construction of medical and health infrastructure.
6- Inter-state and Intra-state movement of all medical and veterinary personnel, scientists, nurses, para-medical staff, lab technicians, midwives and other hospital support services.
7- All Agricultural and related activities- procurement of agricultural products, agriculture marketing through notified Mandis and direct and decentralized marketing, manufacture, distribution and retail of fertilizers, pesticides and seeds; activities of marine and inland fisheries; animal husbandry activities, including the supply chain of milk, milk products, poultry and livestock farming; and tea, coffee and rubber plantations are allowed to be functional.
8- Financial sector - RBI and RBI regulated financial entities, bank branches, ATMs, IT vendors for banking operations, BCs, ATM operation and cash management agencies, SEBI, IRDAI and Insurance companies.
9- Social Sector activities- Operation of homes for children, disabled, mentally challenged, senior citizens, destitute, women and widows; observation homes, Disbursement of social security pensions, operation of Anganwaadisinding distribution of food at doorsteps (Beneficiaries will not attend the Anganwadis).
10- Online teaching or social distancing (All educational institutions will be closed) and maximum utilization of DD and other educational channels for teaching purposes.
11- MNREGA works to be allowed strictly following social distancing, face masks, etc. Priority will be given to irrigation and water conservation works in addition to other Central and State sector schemes.
12- Public utilities - Operations of Oil and Gas Sector (refining, transportation, distributing,etc.); generation, transmission and distribution of power at Central, State and UTs level; postal services; water, sanitization and waste management sectors; telecommunication and internet services.
13- Movement, Loading and unloading of goods/cargo in inter and intrastate- Railways, Airports, Seaports, ICDs, Land ports for cross border transportation, movement of trucks, shops for truck repairs and dhabas on highways, movement of the staff of the above-mentioned operations only via passes.
14- Supply of essential goods is allowed- manufacturing, wholesale, retail through local stores, e-commerce companies, shops selling essential goods, etc.
15- Print and electronic media including DTH and cable services, IT-enabled services with 50% strength, data and call centres for Govt. activities, Govt. approved CSCs at Gram Panchayat level, e-commerce companies and their vehicles, courier services, cold storage and water housing services, private security and facilities management services.
16- Hotels, motels, lodges, etc. accomodating tourists, medical staff, sea crew etc.
17- Services by electricians, IT repairs, plumbers, etc.
18- Industries/ Industrial establishments operating in rural areas (both Govt. and Private).
19- Manufacturing and other industrial establishments with access control in SEZs and EoUs (these establishments must make arrangements for a stay of the workers within their premises or nearby and the transportation will be arranged by the employers in dedicated transport with social distancing).
20- Manufacturing units of-- essential goods (drugs, medical services, etc.), Food processing industries in rural areas, production units (IT hardware, coal and mineral production and their supplies), packaging materials, jute industries, oil and gas exploration, brick kilns in rural areas.
21- Constructions activities -- the construction of roads, buildings, renewable energy projects, etc. in rural areas (outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities) and continuation of workers within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities where no workers are brought in from outside (in situ construction).
22- Movement of persons only for- private vehicles for emergency services (medical and veterinary, procuring essential commodities). In four-wheelers, only one person in the backseat and in two-wheelers only the driver is permitted.
23- Offices of the Government of India, its Autonomous Bodies and Subordinate Offices such as Defence, Health and Family Welfare, CWC, FCI, NYKs, NIC, IMD, INCOIS, SASE, NCC and Customs to function without any restriction.
24- Offices of the State/ UT Governments, their Autonomous Bodies and Local Governments will remain open.
25- Persons to remain under mandatory quarantine as directed by health care personnel for the given time period as decided by local authorities. However, the people who have arrived in India after February 15, 2020, will be released (following the protocol mentioned in the SOP issued by MHA) after the expiry of their quarantine period.
To sum up, the revised consolidated guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs aims at operating those sectors of the economy which are critical from the perspective of rural and agricultural development and job creation. However, protocols such as social distancing, hand sanitization, etc. will continue to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.