How Can States Impose Local Lockdowns? MHA’s Fresh Guidelines
MHA has issued guidelines for states on enforcing lockdowns and marking containment zones.
The Union Home Ministry issued guidelines for states on enforcing lockdowns and marking containment zones on 26 April, in the hope of flattening the curve amid the raging second wave of COVID-19.
In a letter to the states, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla urged them to go for an intensive, local, and focused containment network in districts, cities, and areas based on the parameters specified.
Here’s a lowdown on the new guidelines issued by the Centre to states.
When can states impose restrictions?
The Centre has asked states to impose restrictions for at least 14 days if the positivity rate in an area is more than 10 percent for more than a week, and if 60 percent of hospital beds – both oxygen or non-oxygen beds – are occupied by COVID patients.
Will there be a complete national lockdown?
No, there is no indication of a national lockdown as of now.
What about intra-state and inter-state travel restrictions?
Centre has said that there should be no restrictions on inter-state and intra-state movement including the transport of essential goods.
What sort of restrictions can the states impose?
Once containment zones are identified, the MHA has listed down certain guidelines that the states and Union territories will have to follow:
- Impose night curfew, local administration to decide on the duration of the night curfew; essential services to be exempted.
- Ban social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious, festival-related, and other gatherings
- Limit weddings up to 50 participants and funerals to 20 people
- Close shopping complexes, movie theatres, restaurants and bars, sports complexes, gym, spas, swimming pool, and religious places
- Allow only essential services to continue in both the public and private sectors.
Can offices function? What has the Centre said about it?
- Offices can function with up to half their staff.
- Industrial and scientific establishments can be allowed subject to distancing rules. They will be tested through Rapid Antigen Tests from time to time.
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