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Lockdown in states: What is allowed, what isn’t

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As the Janata Curfew was on Sunday, Delhi and many other states took the Centre’s advise to enforced a full lockdown in its districts to contain the spread of COVID-19. For most of the states the lockdown will be in force from Monday morning till March 31 midnight. But what does a lockdown mean in the Indian context?

The orders issued by the governments of Delhi and Uttarakhand under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 provide some clues. A lot of the elements are common. For instance, both states forbid the congregation of more than five people at a place. Both states have sealed its borders and forbidden public transport. And all violations of the orders shall be prosecuted under relevant sections of the IPC.

The Delhi lockdown order: Do’s and Don’ts

– No public transport services including operation of private buses, taxis, autorickshaws, rickshaws, e-rickshaws etc. shall be permitted. Only DTC buses shall operate at not more than 25% capacity to cater to personnel engaged in essential services.

– All shops, commercial establishments, factories, workshops, offices, godowns, weekly bazaars etc. shall close their operations.

– Motorable and un-motorable borders of NCT of Delhi with the neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh shall be sealed.

– Movement of interstate buses/trains/Metro (DMRC) shall be suspended.

– All domestic/international flights arriving to Delhi during this period shall be suspended.

– Construction activity of any kind shall be suspended.

– All religious places of any denomination shall be closed.

– People are required to stay at home and come out only for basic services (as enumerated below) within the vicinity of their residences while strictly following the social distancing guidelines issued earlier.

However, the following services/establishments are excluded from the purview of this order and shall continue to function normally:

a. Officers charged with law and order and magisterial duties

b. Police

c. Health

d. Fire

e. Prisons

f. Fair Price Shops (Public Distribution Systems)

g. Electricity

h. Water

i. Municipal Services

j. Activities are related to functioning of Legislative Assembly of Delhi

k. Pay and Accounts Office (only for salary/wages/contingent/health and essential services related expenditure)

l. Print and electronic media

m. Cashier/Taylor operations of banks (including ATMs)

n. Telecom, internet, and postal services

o. E-commerce of all essential goods including food, pharmaceutical, and medical equipments

p. food items, groceries (fruits/vegetables/milk/bakery items, meat, fish etc.)

q. Milk plants

r. General provision stores

s. take away/home delivery in restaurants

t. chemists and pharmacies

u. petrol pumps, LPG/oil agencies (including their go down and transportation-related activities)

v. Animal fodder

w. Manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, storage, trade/commerce and logistics related to all above services/establishments and commodities required for delivery of these above services

x. any other essential service/establishment that may be exempted by the government

The aforesaid establishments/services that are permitted to function shall strictly follow the guidelines and protocol related to social distance in, without deviation. People who come out to provide or avail essential services shall be allowed on their self-declaration. Any congregation of more than five persons is strictly prohibited and punishable. All employees of private establishments required to stay at home in view of this order shall be treated as “on duty” and be paid in full. Violations of the order shall be prosecuted as per the relevant provisions of law.

Abhishek Lohia is a Special Correspondent at News21 Chaupal. He has been working as a Political Journalist covering ruling Politics, Governance, renewable energy, the job market, and FMCG. He has previously worked in Newsfolo. A graduate in Engineering, he completed his PG diploma in journalism from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. Abhishek loves cricket and long drives to mountains and writing RAP. He can be reached at: Abhishek.lohia@N21chaupal.com

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