Lockdown due to the nationwide spread of coronavirus extends till May 31 and the Ministry of Home Affairs has released guidelines giving the details of what is allowed and what’s not during the lockdown.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has asked ministries departments of Government of India, state governments and state authorities to continue the lockdown till May 31 keeping in mind the spread of deadly coronavirus.
NDMA also directs the National Executive Committee (NEC) to issue modifications in the guidelines, as necessary keeping in view the need to open up economic activities while containing the spread of coronavirus.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued guidelines on measures to be taken by Ministries/Departments of Government of India, State Governments/UT Governments & State/UT authorities for containment of COVID19.
According to the guidelines all domestic and international air travel of passengers, except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes or purposes as permitted by MHA to remain prohibited throughout the country.
The delineation of red, green, and orange zones will be decided by the respective State/Union Territory governments, after taking into consideration the parameters shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, MHA said.
“All cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places, shall continue to remain closed throughout the country till 31st May,” it said.
Night curfew, restriction to move outside between 7 pm to 7 am, will remain till May 31.
MHA in its guidelines has mentioned using Aarogya Setu app during the lockdown period. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in all his five addresses to the nation after the coronavirus pandemic spread has been vocal on using Aarogya Setu app.
Aarogya Setu app identifies the early identification of potential risk of infection, this acts as a shield for individuals and the community, said MHA.
It also encouraged employers to ensure the use of Aarogya Setu app at the workplace.
MHA in its guidelines advised all persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home till 31st May, except for essential and health purposes.
“State/UT Governments shall not dilute the lockdown guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005, in any manner,” Home Ministry said in its guidelines.
“All other activities will be permitted except those which are specifically prohibited under these guidelines. However, in containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed, as mentioned earlier,” the guidelines said.
Sports complexes and stadia can open, however, spectators will not be allowed, said MHA.
According to reports, Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba will hold a video conference with State Chief Secretaries at 9 pm today discussing the measures regarding the lockdown.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had extended the Coronavirus lockdown till May 31 with the state seeing no respite from the pandemic. After Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu too had extended the COVID-19 lockdown in the state till May 31.
In his address to the nation on May 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the extended lockdown will come with modifications allowing more economic activities.
PM had also announced a Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus for Covid-19 to help the crippling economy as well as migrant workers due to the lockdown. He had given the tagline ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) to encourage in-house productivity of the country.
In order to strengthen his claim, he has allotted fund for MSME sector as well as the agriculture sector among others.
During the fifth and final tranche of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman provided major reforms in the education sector by announcing online classes, allowing 5 per cent borrowing to states which was earlier 3 per cent, decriminalizing seven compoundable offences under the Companies Act, debts due to Covid not to be included under ‘default’ category among others were some of the important announcement made.
In the other tranches, Nirmala Sitharaman has given details of transformation in MSMEs, agriculture, defence apart from food guarantee to migrant workers. The government assured 5 kg food grain per person and one kg channa per family either they are or not the beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act, 2013 or hold a state ration card.