Coronavirus blocking: India will remain blocked for another 19 days until May 3rd after the government decided to extend Tuesday’s 21-day blocking. The 21-day nationwide ban was originally scheduled to end on April 14. Given the growing number of cases, particularly in Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, a majority of states agreed to extend the ban. The Home Office has issued detailed guidelines for services that will and will not continue to operate.
During a television address to the nation on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India may have to pay a high economic price for the blockade, but there is no alternative to saving lives. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India is 11,439, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, including 9,756 active and 377 deaths.
WHAT IS OPEN DURING LOCKDOWN 2.0?
- All types of essential services have been exempted from restrictions. These services include all health workers – doctors, nurses, hospital staff and sanitary workers.
- Media people belonging to print and electronic media are also exempted from the block, although they too cannot enter the security zones, also known as hotspots.
- The homes of children, the disabled, the mentally disabled or the elderly, including women, also remain open.
- Moving, loading or unloading goods – both between and within the country – is permitted.
- MNREGA work is permitted with strict implementation of social distance and the use of face masks.
- Hotels, host families, lodges and motels remain in operation.
- Self-employed services, including electricians, IT repairs, plumbers, auto mechanics and carpenters, also remain in operation.
- Industries in rural areas, special economic zones and EOU zones, units that produce essential goods, food processing units, IT hardware companies and coal mining may work.
- The construction of roads, irrigation projections, buildings and industrial projects of all kinds, including MSMEs, in rural areas and the construction of projects for renewable energies are permitted.
- The government will also relax restrictions on farm workers as rabi harvest season begins in countries like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
- All security forces, including the police and security forces, are also exempt from the ban.
- All types of major service agencies, including cooking gas agencies, fuel pumps, grocery stores, wholesale and retail stores, and vegetable mandibles, remain open.
- Pathology laboratories are also allowed to work during the closure. In particular, the government has also commissioned various private laboratories to conduct COVID-19 tests.
- Freight wagons that transport goods – weather or non-essential goods – within and outside of states are allowed to drive during the extended blocking period.
- People in areas that are not designated as security zones are allowed to buy important items such as rations, vegetables, milk, etc.
- IT services for essential services, Internet and telecommunications services also remain open.
- All national and international air travel for the general public; all passenger trains; Bus traffic; and underground services remain closed.
- Taxis, including auto rickshaws and rickshaws, as well as cab aggregator services will not operate during the extended closure.
- All social, political, sporting, entertainment, academic, cultural and religious activities are also suspended.
- All religious places of worship are closed to the public during the closure. The gathering of more than 20 people is not permitted at funerals.
- To alleviate the hardship, selected additional activities were allowed from April 20. However, states or UTs will receive the last call to loosen the curbs separately. PM Modi also said Tuesday that areas without coronavirus cases could be exempted from some restrictions as of April 20.
- All educational institutions remain closed.
- All social, political, sporting, cultural, academic, entertainment and religious gatherings are prohibited.