As India saw a sudden spike in the novel coronavirus’ cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete 21- day lockdown in the country on Tuesday of this week from midnight 12.
While the country prepares for nationwide lockdown, a list of goods and services that will be available throughout the lockdown period was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Exempted services which are operational (Central government)
Defence, central armed police forces, treasury, public utilities (Including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG), disaster management, power generation and transmission units, post offices, National lnformatics Centre, and Early Warning Agencies.
- Government services which includes police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, prisons, District Administration and Treasury, electricity, water, sanitations, municipal bodies in states and UTs will remain operational. The MHA stated that these offices will work with minimal staff, while the rest will work from home.
- Medical services like hospitals, medical establishments, manufacturing and distribution of medical items, dispensaries, chemists, medical equipment shops, laboratories, clinics, nursing homes, ambulance will remain operational.
- Commercial services: Shops dealing with ration, food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat, animal fodder will remain open. Banks, insurance offices, ATMs will remain open. Delivery of essential goods through e-commerce, petrol pumps and gas retail will remain open. Capital and debt market services as notified by SEBI, cold storage and warehousing, and private security services will be operational.
- Communication services like electronic and print media, internet, cable and broadcasting, IT and IT-enabled services will be operational.
- Industrial services includes manufacturing of essential commodities will be open.
- Transport: Only essential goods are allowed to be transported. Fire, law and order and emergency services will be exempted from restrictions.
- Hospitality: Hotels, lodges, motels, and homestays that are accommodating tourists stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew will be open. Establishments earmarked for quarantine facilities will also be open.
- Government services: Government of India offices, its autonomous and subordinate offices as well as public corporations will be closed. Offices of states and Union Territory governments, autonomous bodies and corporations will also remain closed.
- Commercial and industrial services: This includes all factories and manufacturing activities will be shut and all commercial and private establishments will be shut as well except essentials.
- Transport: All rail, air, marine, roadways passenger transport services will remain suspended during this period.
- All Hospitality services including all restaurants and dine-in would remain shut. The MHA said that all hospitality services would remain suspended.
- Social and religious places: All educational, training research, coaching institutions will remain closed. All places of worship will be shut down. No religious congregations will be permitted. All social, entertainment, political, sports, parks, academic, cultural, religious functions and gatherings will not be permitted.
- Anyone who has arrived from abroad after February 15 to be in quarantine
The PM while addressing the nation mentioned the following points in his speech:
- Social distancing is the best way to fight with coronavirus. The PM warned social distancing was a must for all, even for those without symptoms and not just for ill or sick patients. This is like a curfew, and far stricter than the ‘Janata Curfew’ (happened on March 22. Seeing the present situation, this lockdown will be for 21 days. This is to save India, save each citizen and save your family.
- Do not step outside your house. Forget what is stepping outside for 21 days. There is a Lakshman Rekha on your doorstep. Even one step outside your house will bring the coronavirus inside your house.
- The government also issued a notification that said all essential services will remain open, as before, and all essential commodities and medicines would be available. Petrol pumps, banks, ATMs, hospitals and grocery shops will continue to function. However, all transport services — air, rail and roadways — will remain suspended until April 14.
- PM Modi cited World Health Organization (WHO) data on the accelerating pace of the outbreak — it took 67 days to reach 100,000 infections, and another 11days to reach 200,000, but just four days to hit 300,000.
- As per the experience of several countries, he said even developed nations with the best medical infrastructure had not been able to slow down the spread. The only “ray of hope” was the example of some that had managed to slow its spread by strictly implementing a lockdown.
- An analysis of the past two months of all these countries show that the coronavirus can be fought effectively only one way — by social distancing and staying inside your house. “There is no other solution or way. If we do not enforce this lockdown and continue to be negligent, the country will have to pay a very big price — it is not even possible to estimate what that price may be.”
- PM Modi also mentioned about allocating Rs 15000 crore for healthcare infrastructure
Over to you
Though India’s poorest fear that before coronavirus, hunger and poverty would kill them but PM urges people to not panic buy and not to gather in huge numbers as the state and central governments will make sure to make available all the essential goods and services.
It is essential for us to understand the importance of staying indoors during this period.
Stay safe, stay indoors!