MHA Orders Extension of Lockdown for 2 Weeks

MHA Orders Extension of Lockdown for 2 Weeks

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today (1st May 2020) imposed extension of lockdown for a period of 2 weeks posts May 4, 2020 under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. MHA also issued new guidelines to regulate different activities in this period, based on the risk profiling of the districts of the country into Red (hotspot), Green and Orange Zones. The guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations in the districts falling in the Green and Orange Zones.

Classification of Rajasthan’s districts under Red, Orange & Green Zone as per MoHFW

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Period of Extension of Lockdown

Considering the Corona Virus Situation, nationwide lockdown was imposed for the first time on 24 March 2020 for the period of 21 days till 14 April 2020. On 15th April 2020, the countrywide lockdown was extended till 03rd May 2020 and now on 1st May, 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.

Prohibited Activities:

Under the new guidelines, a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the Zone.  These include:

  • 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; and, religious places/ places of worship for public. 

However, movement of persons by air, rail and road is allowed for select purposes, and for purposes as permitted by MHA.

Certain Other Restrictions:

The new guidelines also prescribe certain measures for well being and safety of persons.  Hence:

  • Movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm to 7 am.  Local authorities shall issue orders under appropriate provisions of law, such as prohibitory orders [curfew] under Section 144 of CrPC, for this purpose, and ensure strict compliance. 
  • In all zones, persons 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 and other safety precautions; however, these will not be permitted within the Containment Zones.

Containment Zones:

The most sensitive areas of the country, from the spread of COVID-19 point of view, and falling within the Red and Orange Zones, are designated as Containment Zones. 

  • These are areas where there is significant risk of spread of the infection.
  • The containment areas would be defined by respective District Administrations, taking into account the total number of active cases, their geographical spread, and the need to have well demarcated perimeters from the enforcement point of view. 
  • The local authority shall ensure 100% coverage of Aarogya Setu app among the residents of the Containment Zone.
  • Containment Zones would have intensified surveillance protocols, with contact tracing, house to house surveillance, home/ institutional quarantining of persons based on their risk assessment, and clinical management. 
  • Strict perimeter control would need to be ensured, so that there is 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 the Containment Zones. 

MHA order on extension of Lockdown & Permitted Activities guideline

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Red Zone:

Additional Prohibited Activities:

In the Red Zones, outside the Containment Zones, certain activities are prohibited in addition to those prohibited throughout the country.  These are: 

  • Plying of cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws;
  • Running of taxis and cab aggregators;
  • Intra-district and inter-district plying of buses; and,
  • Barber shops, spas and saloons.

Allowed Activities:

A large number of other activities are allowed in the Red Zones.

  • All industrial and construction activities in rural areas, including MNREGA works, food-processing units and brick-kilns are permitted; besides, in rural areas, without distinction to the nature of goods, all shops, except in shopping malls 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 allowed, including their processing and marketing. 
  • All health services (including AYUSH) are to remain functional, including transport of medical personnel and patients through air ambulances. 
  • A large part of the financial sector remains open, which includes banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs), insurance and capital market activities, and credit co-operative societies. 
  • 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. 

Most of the commercial and private establishments have been allowed in the Red Zones. These include:

  • Print and electronic media, IT and IT enabled services, data and call centres,
  • Cold storage and warehousing services,
  • Private security and facility management services, and
  • Services provided by self-employed persons, except for barbers etc., as mentioned earlier.
  • Manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw material and intermediates;
  • Production units, which require continuous process, and their supply chain;
  • Jute industry with staggered shifts and social distancing; and
  • Manufacturing of IT hardware and manufacturing units of packaging material will continue to be permitted.

Orange Zone:

In the Orange Zones, in addition to activities permitted in Red Zone,

  • Taxis and cab aggregators will be permitted with 1 driver and 2 passengers only.
  • Inter-district movement of individuals and vehicles will be allowed for permitted activities only.
  • Four wheeler vehicles will have maximum two passengers besides the driver and pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheelers.

Green Zone:

In the Green Zones, all activities are permitted except the limited number of activities which are prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the Zone. However buses can operate with upto 50% seating capacity and bus depots can operate with upto 50% capacity.

General Instructions:

All goods traffic is to be permitted.  No State/ UT shall stop the movement of cargo for cross land-border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate pass of any sort is needed for such movement, which is essential for maintaining the supply chain of goods and services across the country during the lockdown period. 

All other activities will be permitted activities, which are not specifically prohibited, or which are permitted with restrictions in the various Zones, under these guidelines.  However, States/ UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, and with the primary objective of keeping the spread of COVID-19 in check, may allow only select activities from out of the permitted activities, with such restrictions as felt necessary.

No separate/ fresh permissions will be required from authorities for activities already permitted to operate under the guidelines on Lockdown measures up to May 3, 2020.

The Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) issued by MHA will continue to operate such as transit arrangement for foreign national(s) in India; release of quarantine persons; movement of stranded labour within States/ UTs; sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers, movement of stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons by road and rail.

State/ UT Governments are mandated to strictly enforce the lockdown guidelines and they shall not dilute these guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in any manner.

References:

  • News Release on extension of Lockdown – PIB Release
  • MHA new guidelines with extension of lockdown for 2 week w.e.f 4th May 2020 – Download PDF

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MHA order on extension of Lockdown & Permitted Activities guideline

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