Coronavirus India Updates: India Extends Lockdown Till May 31, Some Curbs Eased
Lockdown 4.0: Guidelines Modified
India ordered the extension of the lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic till May 31 with fresh guidelines.
States and union territories will now categorise red, green and orange zones taking into consideration the parameters shared by the Health Ministry, according to the new guidelines released by the Ministry of Home Affairs. All activities are permitted except which are specifically prohibited. However in containment zones, only essential services are allowed.
States may prohibit and impose restrictions on certain activities in zones based on their assessment.
The new guidelines came after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-headed National Disaster Management Authority ordered to continue to restrictions till the end of this month.
Earlier, the National Disaster Management Authority asked the central and state governments to extend the lockdown to contain Covid-19 pandemic till May 31.
The authority, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also asked its National Executive Committee, comprising secretaries of different departments, should issue modifications in the guidelines keeping in view the need to resume economic activities, according to its order.
The ongoing third phase of the lockdown ended today. Some states including Maharashtra have already extended the restrictions till May 31 while relaxing some curbs.
The total confirmed new coronavrius cases in India have risen to 90,927 as of 8 a.m. today, according to the data by the Health Ministry. Of these, 4,987 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours.
No Clarity On Online Sale Of Non-Essentials In Red Zones
The home ministry yet to clarify on the status of delivery of non-essential items by e-commerce platforms in red zones.
Under the previous guideline, e-commerce services allowed only essential services in red zones. Delivery of essential and non-essential services is allowed in orange and green zones.
Face Covers Must In Public Places, Workplaces
- Spitting to be punishable and social distancing to be followed by all persons in public places and in transport.
- Marriage-related gatherings to not have more than 50 guests.
- For funerals and last rites, the maximum number of persons allowed kept at 20.
- Consumption of liquor, paan, gutkha and tobacco, etc is not allowed in public places.
Home Ministry On Aarogya Setu App
Employers on best-effort basis should ensure that the Aarogya Setu application is installed by all employees, and district administrations may advise individuals to install the app on compatible phones, the ministry said in its order.
The contact-tracing and status-check app developed at the behest of the government has triggered privacy and surveillance concerns.
Conditions To Open Shops, Markets
- Local authorities to ensure that shops and markets open with staggered timings, to ensure social distancing.
- All shops to ensure six feet distance among customers and also not allow more than 5 persons at one time.
Additional Requirements For Workplaces
- The practice of work from home should be followed to the extent possible.
- Staggering of work hours should be adopted in respect of all offices and other establishments.
- There should be provisions for thermal scanning, hand wash and sanitisers at all entry and exit points and common areas.
- All workplaces and other sensitive locations to be sanitised regularly, besides ensuring social distancing between workers.
- There should be adequate gaps between shifts and lunch breaks should be staggered.
What Remains Prohibited
- All domestic and international air travel of passenger, except for domestic medical services, domestic air ambulance and for security purposes as directed by home ministry.
- Metro rail services.
- Schools, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions to remain prohibited.
- Hotel/restaurants and other hospitality services except meant for housing health/police/govt officials/ healthcare workers/stranded persons.
- Restaurants only permitted to operate kitchen for home delivery of food items.
- All cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks and similar places to remain prohibited.
- All social/political/sports/entertainment and other gatherings and large congregations.
- All religious places/places of worship shall be closed for public.
- Movement of individuals to remain prohibited between 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., except for essential activities.
What’s Allowed With Conditions
- Among the activities permitted with restrictions, except in containment zones, include:
- Sports complexes will be permitted to open but no spectators will be allowed.
- Inter state movement of passenger vehicles and buses allowed with mutual consent of the states and union territories.
- Intra-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses as per states and union territories.
Rail Travel SOPs
The guidelines reiterated the standard operating procedure released on May 11 for travel by trains. Indian Railways started some special trains from May 12 to gradually restart passenger services. This is in addition to the special Shramik trains for stranded migrants.