The centre on Sunday has provided relaxation in the services available in the nationwide lockdown as it allowed the transportation of goods without the essential and non-essential distinction.
According to the letter by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla to States and Union Territories, the delivery of newspapers, supply chain of milk collection and distribution, supply of groceries including hygiene products are to be allowed.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an addendum to the guidelines, and subsequent addendum to all Ministries/Departments regarding the nationwide lockdown to fight coronavirus.
Alert : Further liberalization of what constitutes "groceries" and hence, exempted as essential items. This includes the newspaper delivery supply chain#CoronaUpdate #coronavirusindia #lockdown #StayAwareStaySafe pic.twitter.com/TWXePWXXMh
— PIB India #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIB_India) March 29, 2020
“Entire supply chain of milk collection and distribution, including its packaging material is allowed. Newspaper delivery supply chain is also allowed under print media,” Bhalla said in a letter.
“Groceries include hygiene products such as hand washes, soaps, disinfectants, body wash, shampoos, surface cleaners, detergents and tissue papers, toothpaste/oral care, sanitary pads and diapers, battery cells, chargers, etc,” the letter added.
The letter also informed about the pension mentioned under the exemptions under clause 2(g). “It includes pension and provident fund services provided by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).”
Earlier, the Centre has issued an advisory to states asking them to seal borders and restrict the entry of migrant labourers. It also asked the authorities to keep the migrant labourers in a 14-day quarantine.
“House Rent should not be demanded from the labourers for this period. Action should be taken against those who are asking labourers or students to vacate the premises,” it said.
The Centre assured the availability of food and other essentials to the people during this period.
The central government has also allowed the use of SDRF for homeless people, including migrant labourers stranded due to lockdown measures, and sheltered in the relief camps and other places for providing them food etc., for the containment of spread of COVID-19 virus in the country.
The country today completed its fifth day of complete lockdown imposed on March 25, in view of the deadly novel coronavirus. The move came after a day of ‘Janata Curfew’ imposed by PM Modi on March 22.
The entire planet is in grip of the deadly virus which has taken over 30,000 deaths. In India, the cases of coronavirus have swell over 1000 with 27 deaths.