The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued fresh guidelines covering additional people and services who will be exempted from the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the new guidelines, the ministry said that those people handling cargo operations in airports and railway stations, coal mining activities, officers and staff of resident commissioners based in Delhi and customs clearance at ports, airports and land borders have been exempted.
Moreover, Reserve Bank of India and RBI-regulated financial markets, pay and accounts officers and field officers of the CAG, petroleum products and supply chain and forest staff are also exempted.
#IndiaFightsCOVID19— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) March 25, 2020
MHA issues an Addendum to the guidelines issued yesterday reg. #lockdownindia and lays down additional categories of essential goods and services exempted under the Disaster Management Act. https://t.co/En4MwrN3IA pic.twitter.com/dqrYlIviya
The guidelines added that forest offices staff and workers required to operate and maintain zoo, nurseries, wildlife, fire fighting in forests, watering plantations, patrolling and their necessary transport movement, social welfare department staff for operations of homes for children, disabled, senior citizens, destitute women, widows, observation homes and pensions service are also exempted.
The lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on Tuesday in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic. After PM's announcement, the Home Ministry on Tuesday night issued some guidelines for enforcement of the nationwide lockdown.
The guidelines listed several services including government and private offices that will be out of bounds during the period while exempting establishments such as hospitals, ration shops, dairies, banks, insurance offices, and print and electronic media. Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through e-commerce has also been exempted from the purview of the lockdown.
"All enforcing authorities to note that these strict restrictions fundamentally relate to the movement of people, but not to that of essential goods," the guidelines issued on Tuesday said. The guidelines on Tuesday said all educational, training, research, coaching institutions etc., shall remain closed, places of worship shall remain closed. No religious congregations will be permitted, without any exception.
According to the Health Ministry, the total number of positive COVID-19 cases in India reached 606, including 43 foreign nationals. The country confirmed 12 death due to coronavirus after an 85-year-old woman from Gujarat died on Wednesday. She has travelled abroad and after developing symptoms of COVID. She was suffering from many complications.
(With PTI inputs)