Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on Tuesday, 24 March, said that from 12 am onward, the entire country will be on lockdown for 21 days and appealed to every citizen to not step out of their houses for the time period.
Consequently, the home ministry issued guidelines regarding the lockdown. Here’s all you need to know:
- All transport services, including road, rail and air services, will remain suspended during the lockdown period.
- Executive Magistrates will be deployed by District Magistrate to enforce the lockdown.
- Hospitals, nursing homes, police, fire stations, ATMs will continue to work.
- Fair price shops and those dealing with food, groceries, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, animal fodder will remain open.
- Banks, insurance offices, print and electronic media will also remain open.
- In order to ensure the delivery of essential services, the MHA has asked each state and Union Territory to set up a 24x7 control room/office with helplines (at state or district level) to address any grievance or undue problems faced by the providers of goods and services.
- The helpline facility should also be made available, according to the MHA, to ensure adequate protection to essential service providers, government employees or healthcare personnel from any “unwanted stigmatisation.”
- Not more than 20 people permitted during funerals.
- Hospitality services and educational institutions will remain suspended during the period. However, hotels, homestays, lodges and motels accommodating people stranded due to the lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew have been exempted.
- Government offices, autonomous institutions, public corporations, commercial, private, industrial establishments shall remain closed.
- Defence, Central Armed Police Forces, the treasury, certain public utilities, disaster management, power, warning agencies, state police, home guards, fire and emergency services, district administration, and Municipal bodies (only staff required for essential services) have been exempted from the lockdown.
- Additional people and services exempted from the lockdown are: Reserve Bank of India and RBI-regulated financial markets, pay and accounts officers and field officers of the CAG, petroleum products and supply chain, forest staff, people handling cargo operations in airports and railway stations, coal mining activities, officers and staff of resident commissioners based in Delhi and customs clearance at ports, airports and land borders, social welfare department staff for operations of homes for children, disabled, senior citizens, destitute women, widows, observation homes and pensions service.
- All places of worship shall be closed for public. No religious congregations will be permitted, without any exception.
- Punishment for not abiding by with government directive or making false alarm may result in imprisonment up to one year.
- Making false claims to get any relief during lockdown may result in imprisonment for up to two years.
Here’s a copy of the guidelines, reproduced in full:
(With inputs from PTI )