The Centre has extended the nationwide lockdown, put in to contain the coronavirus outbreak, by 2 more weeks from May 4. It was set to end this Sunday but now it has been pushed to May 17.
“After a comprehensive review, and in view of the lockdown measures having led to significant gains in the COVID-19 situation in the country, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India (GoI) issued an order under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, today, to further extend the lockdown for a further period of 2 weeks beyond May 4, 2020,” said a home ministry notification.
The extension will, however, see some relaxations which will be regulated based on the spread of the virus in the districts, identified as red (hotspot), Green, and Orange Zones.
The green zones are districts with either zero confirmed cases to date or no confirmed case in the last 21 days. The classification of districts as Red Zones will take into account the total number of active cases, doubling the rate of confirmed cases, the extent of testing, and surveillance feedback from the districts. Those districts, which are neither defined as Red nor Green, shall be classified as Orange zones.
These will see intensified surveillance protocols, contact tracing, and 100% coverage of the Aarogya Setu app. Containment zones will see a house to house surveillance, home/ institutional quarantining of affected, and clinical management. A strict perimeter will be ensured.
What is allowed ( with restrictions and social distancing)
- Movement of persons and vehicles with a maximum of 2 persons (besides the driver) in 4-wheeler vehicles, and with no pillion rider in the case of 2-wheelers
- Special Economic Zones, Export Oriented Units, industrial estates, and industrial townships
- Manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw materials
- Manufacturing of IT hardware
- Jute industry with staggered shifts and social distancing; and, manufacturing units of packaging material
- Construction activities are limited to on-site construction (where workers are available on-site)
- All single shops, colony shops, and shops in residential complexes
- E-Commerce activities only in respect of essential goods
- Private offices can operate with up to 33% strength
- All Government offices
- Food-processing units
- All agriculture activities
- All plantation activities
- All health services (including AYUSH)
- Banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), insurance, and capital market activities
- Public utilities
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. 4-wheeler vehicles will have a maximum of 2 passengers besides the driver and pillion riding will be allowed on 2-wheelers. Sale of liquor is allowed.
All activities are permitted except for the opening of schools, colleges, restaurants, large gatherings, and malls. Buses can operate with up to 50% seating capacity and bus depots can operate with up to 50% capacity. All goods traffic is to be permitted. No separate pass of any type is needed for such movement. Ecommerce for non-essentials and liquor sale is allowed.
In all zones, people above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes. Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) and Medical clinics shall be permitted to operate in Red, Orange, and Green Zones, with social distancing norms.
Running of schools, colleges, and other educational and training/coaching institutions; air, rail, metro; 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; and, religious places/ places of worship for the public.
However, the movement of persons by air, rail, and road is allowed for select purposes, and for purpose as permitted by MHA. Movement of individuals, for all nonessential activities, shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm to 7 am.