India Extends Lockdown Beyond May 4 For Two More Weeks
The Indian government today has extended the nationwide lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread unabated. However, there will be considerable relaxations in districts where there are no active cases.
The lockdown will be further extended for two weeks beyond May 4, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a press release. New guidelines will also be issued to regulate activities during the period based on the risk profiling of the districts, it said.
There will be no movement between states allowed during this time. Industrial establishments in urban areas, including special economic zones, will be allowed to operate, as well as manufacturing units for essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals and medical devices and IT hardware production, the ministry said. Private offices and government departments can operate with 33 percent capacity.
Districts have been identified as red, orange or green zones based on the status of the Covid-19 outbreak there. Green zones are with no confirmed cases in the last 21 days. Red zones are the ones with the most active cases and a faster doubling rate. Orange zones fall under neither of the two categories.
The classification will enable the resumption of some economic activities in areas that are relatively less affected by the incidence of Covid-19. It will also ensure that caution is exercised in these areas so that they remain coronavirus-free, the home ministry said.
However, irrespective of the zones, there are some activities that will continue to remain prohibited across the country. This includes:
- Travel by air, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road
- Running of schools, colleges, and other educational and training/coaching institutions
- Hospitality services, including hotels and restaurants
- Places of large public gatherings, such as cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes etc
- Social, political, cultural and other kinds of gatherings
- Religious places/places of worship for public.
The movement of individuals, too, will remain strictly prohibited between 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
All movement of goods will be permitted. No states or union territories shall prohibit the movement of cargo, the home ministry said.
What is allowed in Red zone?
- Movement of individuals and vehicles is allowed only for permitted activities, with a maximum of 2 persons, and no pillion rider in the case of two-wheelers.
- Industrial establishments in urban areas, viz., Special Economic Zones, Export Oriented Units, industrial estates and industrial townships with access control have been permitted
- Manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices-raw material and intermediates, manufacturing of IT hardware, jute industry with staggered shifts and social distancing, and manufacturing units of packaging material.
- Construction activities in urban areas where workers are available on site and no workers are required to be brought in from outside
- Shops in urban areas, for non-essential goods, are not allowed in malls, markets and market complexes.
- All standalone shops, neighbourhood shops and shops in residential complexes are permitted to remain open in urban areas, without any distinction of essential and non-essential.
- E-commerce activities only permitted for essential goods
- Private offices can operate with up to 33 percent strength as per requirement.
- All Government offices shall function with senior officers of the level of Deputy Secretary and above at full strength, and the remaining staff attending up to 33 percent.
- Defence and Security services, Health and Family Welfare, Police, Prisons, Home Guards, Civil Defence, Fire and Emergency Services, Disaster management and related services, National Informatics Centre, Customs, Food Corporation of India, National Cadet Corps, Nehru Yuvak Kendra and Municipal services can function without any restrictions.
- All industrial and construction activities in rural areas, including MNREGA works, food-processing units and brick-kilns are permitted
- All agriculture activities, e.g., sowing, harvesting, procurement and marketing operations in the agricultural supply chain are permitted.
- Animal husbandry activities are fully permitted, including inland and marine fisheries. All plantation activities are also allowed, including their processing and marketing.
- Banks, non-banking finance companies, insurance and capital market activities, and credit co-operative societies will remain open.
- Operation of homes for children, senior citizens, destitutes, women and widows etc.; and operation of Anganwadis has also been permitted.
- Public utilities, e.g., utilities in power, water, sanitation, waste management, telecommunications and internet will remain open, and courier and postal services will be allowed to operate.
What is allowed in Orange zone?
- In addition to activities permitted in Red Zone, taxis and cab aggregators will be permitted with 1 driver and 1 passenger only.
- Inter-district movement of individuals and vehicles will be allowed for permitted activities only.
- Four wheeler vehicles can have maximum two passengers besides the driver, and pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheelers.
Containment zones will be identified by district administrations of the red and orange zones. It will be based on the total number of active places, the geographical spread and the need to have well demarcated perimeters, according to the MHA.
These zones will have stricter measures and monitoring, with contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, home and institutional quarantining of persons based on their risk assessment and clinical management.
Strict perimeter control would need to be ensured, to ensure no movement of people in and out of these zones, except for medical emergencies, and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services. No other activity is permitted within these areas. The ministry also said that the local authority shall ensure 100 percent coverage of Aarogya Setu app among the residents of the containment zones.
What is allowed in Green zone?
- All activities permitted, except the limited number of activities which are prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the zones.
- Buses can operate with up to 50 percent seating capacity and bus depots can operate with up to 50 percent capacity.
- Liquor and paan shops to be allowed to function provided not more 5 persons are present at one time. Social distancing norms, too, will have to be followed.
Check if you’re district is a red, orange or a green zone in health ministry’s notification here.