The country went into complete lockdown for 21 days from Tuesday midnight.
This was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on Tuesday evening as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Amid concerns over supplies of essential commodities, the government has clarified that the list of exemptions during the lockdown.
This includes groceries, pharmacies, and ATMs, among other essential services, which will remain open and operational.
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“There is absolutely no need to panic. Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available (during the lockdown). Centre and various state governments will work in close coordination to ensure this,” Modi tweeted later.
While the instruction is to “stay at home, no matter what”, the government has issued a list of exemptions.
Shops, including ration shops, dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder shall remain open.
However, district authorities may facilitate home delivery to minimize the movement of individuals outside their homes.
Hospitals and all related medical establishments, including manufacturing and distributing units, both in public and private sector, such as dispensaries, chemist and medical equipment shops, clinics, ambulance etc will continue to remain functional.
The transportion for all medical personnel, nurses, para-medical staff, other hospital support services shall be permitted
Banks, insurance offices, and ATMs shall also remain operational.
Print and electronic media will remain open.
Telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services will be operational to ensure smooth work from home as far as possible.
Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment will be done through E-commerce.
Petrol pumps, LPG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets shall remain open.
To ensure continuous supply of electricity, power generation, transmission and distribution units and services will remain operational.
However, to ensure the implementation of the lockdown, the government has announced action, including fines and imprisonment, against violators.
According to the guidelines by the Ministry of Home Affairs, any person violating these containment measures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Section 188 of the IPC.
The district magistrate will also deploy executive magistrates as incident commanders in their respective local jurisdictions.
The incident commanders will be responsible to ensure the overall implementations of the guidelines in their respective jurisdictions, and ensure the mobilization of resources, workers, and essential material.
All government offices – both state and Centre – shall remain closed during the lockdown period.
Exemptions are: Defence, central armed police forces, treasury, public utilities (including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG), disaster management, power generation, post offices, etc.
Barring manufacturing units of essential commodities, and production units which require continuous process, industrial establishments shall remain closed.
Production units will have to obtain permission from the state governments to continue their operations.
All transport services – rail, road, and air, remain suspended to civilians.
Exemptions will only be for transportation of essential goods, and fire, law and order services.
All places of worship are closed for public.
All gatherings of any kind shall be barred.
In case of funerals, congregation of not more than 20 persons will be permitted.