Centre Issues Guidelines for Extended Lockdown

Centre Issues Guidelines for Extended Lockdown
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TheMinistry of Home Affairs (MHA), on Wednesday, released fresh guidelines for theCOVID-19 lockdown, which has been extended till May 3. Additional publicactivities will be allowed from April 20, like agriculture, horticultureactivities and procurement of the same. The guidelines mandate closing of someCentral, state government offices, commercial, private establishments,industrial establishments and all transport services. The guideline alsomandates the appointment of incident commanders responsible for the overallimplementation of these measures.

Some of the guidelines:

1. Offices under the Central government, its autonomous/subordinate offices and public corporations will remain closed, with theexceptions of defence, central armed police forces, treasury, public utilities(including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG), power generation and transmission unitsand post offices. Others like Customs, Reserve Bank of India and RBI-regulatedfinancial markets and entities like NPCI, CCIL will operate with minimum staff.

2. Offices under the state/ union territory governments willremain closed with the exceptions of police, home guards, civil defence, fireand emergency services, disaster management, and prisons, electricity, water,sanitation, municipal bodies.

3. Hospitals, veterinary hospitals, and all related medical establishments, including their manufacturing and distribution units, both in public and private sector, such as dispensaries, chemist, pharmacies (including Jan Aushadhi Kendra) and medical equipment shops, laboratories, pharmaceutical research labs, clinics, nursing homes, ambulance, etc. will continue to remain functional.

4. From April 20, additional activities will be allowed "to mitigate hardship on the public". Farming operations, procurement activities and mandis organized by the state will be operational.

5. From April 20, pharmaceutical research activities andmanufacturing of drugs, medical devices will be operational. 

6. Inter-state, inter-district movement of people, metro, busservices continue to be prohibited till May 3

7. Cinema halls, malls, shopping complexes, gymnasiums, sportscomplexes, swimming pools, bars to remain closed till May 3.

8. Commercial and private establishments shall be closed down, with the exception of shops, including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder, fertilizers, seeds and pesticides.

9. Banks, insurance offices, and ATMs including IT vendors for banking operations, print, and electronic media can function, along with the delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through e-commerce.

10. Industrial establishments will remain closed with theexceptions of manufacturing units of essential goods, medical devices, theirraw materials.

11. All transport services—air, rail, roadways—will remain suspended with the exceptions of transportation for essential goods, fire, law and order and emergency services, operations of Railways, Airports and Seaports for cargo movement, relief and evacuation and their related operational organizations. 

12. Taxis and cab aggregators will be prohibited. 

13. All educational, training, research, coaching institutionsetc. shall remain closed.

14. All places of worship shall be closed for the public. No religious congregations will be permitted, without any exception.

15. All social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/cultural/ religious functions / gatherings will be barred.

Any person violating these containment measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Sec. 188 of the IPC. 

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