WHAT ESSENTIAL SERVICES WILL BE AVAILABLE DURING LOCKDOWN?
On March 24th, 2020 at 08:00 p.m. IST, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a 21-day nationwide lockdown. This would be an effort to contain and control the spread of novel coronavirus across the country. And minutes after his declaration, the Ministry of Home Affairs released a comprehensive list of all the essential services that will remain in operation during the lockdown period.
In the list, the Home Ministry also mentioned detailed guidelines on the measures that the Central, as well as the State governments, will be taking to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
What will remain closed?
The Central Government has decided to close down all of the government offices, in both the centre as well as state level. Additionally, all public corporations (with the exception of police, fire, emergency and utility services, prisons and municipal bodies) will remain closed. Other things that will remain closed are:
- All transport services including road, rail and airways
- Hospitality services
- Educational institutions
- Social institutions
- Political institutions
- All private offices
- Offices of the Government of India and public corporations
- All places of religious importance, like temples, churches, gurudwaras and mosques
According to the list released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the following essential services will remain available during the Lockdown period of 21 days:
- Petrol pumps, public utilities (petroleum, CNG, PNG, LPG)
- Power generation and transmission units
- Post offices
- Disaster management and relief team
- Police, home guards, civil defence
- Fire and emergency services
- Electricity, water and sanitation
- Fire stations
- Banks, insurance offices, ATMs
- Hospitals, nursing homes, chemist, dispensaries, clinics, laboratories, ambulance, medical equipment shops
- ration shops and fair price shops
- Shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits, vegetables, milk booths, meat, fish, animal fodder
- Telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services
- IT-enabled services for essential goods
- Online delivery of food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment
- Print and electronic media
- Transportation for essential goods
- Fire, law and order, and emergency services
- Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels that are accommodating tourists and people stranded due to lockdown
In addition to these, the ministry has also mentioned that in case of any funerals, a congregation of twenty or a lesser number of people only will be permitted. Furthermore, anyone who has arrived into the Indian subcontinent after February 15th, 2020, including anyone who has been directed by healthcare personnel to remain under home or institutional quarantine will need to follow instructions, failing which, they will be liable to legal action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
Anyone found violating the containment measures released by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Central Government, will be liable to legal action as per provision of Section 51-60 of the Disaster Management Act of 2005 and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
As of now, the government has stated that the containment measures of lockdown will remain in force in all districts and states of the country, for a period of 21 days, w.e.f. March 25th, 2020.