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Coronavirus lockdown: MHA issues fresh guidelines on exemptions

India coronavirus lockdown: A nation-wide lockdown was enforced from Tuesday midnight to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. Essential commodities, medicines etc. would be available during the lockdown, but citizens are encouraged to stay at their homes.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: March 25, 2020 9:30:21 pm
A nation-wide lockdown was enforced from Tuesday midnight to contain the spread of novel coronavirus. (Express photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

The Ministry of Home Affairs Wednesday issued several additional guidelines for essential service providers after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day lockdown as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Here are some of the key additions:

🔴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.

Addition: In the new guidelines, the ministry said that 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 exempted from the purview of the lockdown.

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🔴Hospitals and all related medical establishments, including manufacturing and distributing units, both in public and private sector, such as dispensaries, chemists and medical equipment shops, clinics, ambulance etc will continue to remain functional. The transportation for all medical personnel, nurses, para-medical staff, other hospital support services shall be permitted.

Read | Groceries, pharmacies, ATMs, here’s a list of exemptions

AdditionThis will also include veterinary hospitals, pharmacies (including Jan Aushadhi Kendra) and Pharmaceutical research labs.

🔴 The government had earlier announced that all commercial and private establishments will remain close. However, Bank, insurance offices and ATMs will remain open.

Addition: IT vendors for banking operations, Banking Correspondents and ATM operation and cash management agencies will also remain exceptions.

Also read | India likely to unveil $20 billion-plus stimulus package to tackle coronavirus downturn, say sources

🔴 Barring manufacturing units of essential commodities, and production units that require continuous process, industrial establishments shall remain closed.

Addition: Essential goods will also include drugs, pharmaceutical, medical devices and their raw material & intermediates.

🔴 All transport services — rail, road, and air, remain suspended to civilians. Exemptions only for transportation of essential goods, and fire, law and order services.

Addition: 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 are also exempted.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: Are smokers at high risk form coronavirus? | Can Vitamin-C prevent or cure coronavirus infection? | What exactly is community spread of coronavirus? | How long can the Covid-19 virus survive on a surface? | Amid the lockdown, what is allowed, what is prohibited?

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