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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Lockdown in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh over coronavirus: Here’s what is exempted

A statewide lockdown has been announced in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh until March 31, 2020, to contain the spread of coronavirus. Here's all you need to know.

Written by Rahul V Pisharody | Hyderabad |
Updated: March 23, 2020 2:43:33 pm
Telangana shutdown, hyderabad lockdown, Telangana lockdown, andhra pradesh lockdown, Telangana lockdown, coronavirus lockdown, coronavirus pandemic Police barricade main roads near Begumpet metro station in Hyderabad (Express photo/Rahul V Pisharody)

While the Centre had recommended a shutdown of at least five districts in Telangana and four in Andhra Pradesh, both the states have enforced a statewide lockdown until March 31st to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar of Telangana and Nilam Sawhney of Andhra Pradesh issued the orders late Sunday evening under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. While Telangana has recorded 30 positive cases, six patients in Andhra Pradesh have been infected. Overall, 415 cases and 7 deaths have been reported across India.

Can people go out during lockdown?

The Telangana government prohibits any congregation of more than 5 persons in public places. A full curfew-like situation will prevail between 7 pm and 6 am, and people are advised to complete the essential activities between 6 am and 7 pm. All shops and establishments will close by 7 pm. Criminal cases will be registered against those leaving homes without valid reasons.

During day-time, people will be allowed to move only within 2-3 km vicinity of their homes to purchase essentials. Only one person will be allowed on a bike and two in cars during the lockdown period. While coming out, people are required to strictly observe social distancing norms.

All state borders are sealed for vehicles. The operations of all interstate bus and transport services including those by private operators shall stand suspended. Transport of essential and perishable commodities will be allowed.

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This apart, within the state, modes of public transport such as TSRTC buses, SETWIN buses, Hyderabad metro, taxis, autorickshaws, etc will not be permitted. Transport of passengers for accessing emergency medical services will be permitted. Coming to the plying of private vehicles in the state, the government order restricts the same to the extent of procuring essential commodities and activities permitted under this order.

Those who fail to observe the mandatory 14-day home quarantine, after return from abroad, are liable for penal action and will be shifted to government quarantine facilities.

In Andhra Pradesh, a congregation of more than 10 persons is prohibited in public places. All non-essential commercial shops to shut down. All non-essential offices, factories, workshops, godowns, etc if operated should do so with skeletal staff. A 100-bed quarantine or isolation facility to be established in each assembly constituency. Each district headquarters shall have a 200-300 bed tertiary care treatment facility dedicated to COVID19 treatment in coordination with the private sector.

Vehicles near the Hyderabad Public School in Hyderabad (Express photo/Rahul V Pisharody)

Which shops are allowed to function?

All shops, commercial establishments, offices, factories, workshops, godowns, etc have been directed to be closed down. Production and manufacturing units such as pharmaceuticals, API, etc are exempted. Manufacturing units engaged in the production of essential commodities like dal and rice mills, food, and related units, dairy units, feed and fodder units. will also be permitted to operate.

In Telangana, government offices, shops, and establishments have been permitted to operate, but will have to take steps to ensure social distancing such as by painting of footmarks at distances of 3 feet from each other near the checkout counters. They also need to ensure the availability of hand sanitizers/hand washing facilities.

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At the At Panjagutta Junction in Hyderabad (Express photo: Rahul V Pisharody)

What is excluded from the lockdown?

Banks, ATMs, and related services; print and electronic media; IT and ITeS, including telecom, postal and internet services; supply chain and transport of essential commodities; e-commerce (delivery) of essential goods including food, pharmaceutical, and medical equipment are permitted to operate.

Also, the sale of food items, groceries, milk, bread, fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, and their transportation and warehousing activities; take away/home delivery at restaurants will be permitted to operate as usual. Hospitals, optical stores, diagnostic centers, pharmaceuticals manufacturing, and their transportation; petrol pumps, LPG gas, oil agencies, their godowns, and their related transport operations are also permitted.

Private establishments that support the provisioning of essential services or the efforts of containment of COVID-19 are allowed to
operate. All security services including those provided by private agencies are exempted from the restrictions imposed. Airports and related services will also function as usual.

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

A municipal worker sweeps a road in front of the Charminar monument in Hyderabad during the ‘Janata curfew’ (AP)

All the district collectorates, divisional offices, and Mandal offices along with departments of Police, Health, Electricity, and water supply, Urban Local Bodies/Panchayatraj institutions, Fire, etc will be fully functional in Telangana. Regulatory departments like pollution control board, legal metrology, drug control administration, etc. will also be open. The government has also directed the departments of taxation, excise, commercial tax, transport, stamps, and registration, Agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, and
agricultural marketing, civil supplies, etc to be functional.

What has been postponed in Telangana due to lockdown?

The government has ordered educational institutions and education department activities including spot evaluation to be closed till March 31, 2020. All examinations scheduled during this period stand postponed. All elective surgeries will be re-scheduled in all private and government hospitals to enhance the availability of health care facilities to COVID-19 patients.

The process of paddy procurement across the state has been directed to be decentralized to village/gram panchayat level, by opening more procurement centers, by engaging IKP groups, PACS and Agricultural Marketing Committees. The arrival of paddy to the procurement center should be regulated by issuing time slot coupons.

Any person, institutions, organization violating any provision of these regulations shall be dealt with under the provisions of The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and The disaster management act, 2005.

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Passengers wear face masks as a precaution against COVID-19 arrive at Secunderabad Railway Station in Hyderabad (AP)

Is the Telangana government extending any benefits?

In view of the hardships due to lockdown, all 87.59 lakh food security cardholders in the state would be given 12 kg of rice per person amounting to 3.58 lakh tonnes at a cost of Rs 1103 crore. All such families would be given one-time support of Rs 1500 to meet the expenditure on other essential commodities such as dal, vegetables, and salt, etc.

All government, as well as private establishments, are directed to make payments of wages/salaries fully to the workers including those working under contract and outsourcing basis during the lockdown period.

As all Anganwadi centers will remain closed till March 31, children and pregnant women/lactating mothers will be provided take-home ration during this period. Pregnant women who are expected to deliver during the months of March-April 2020 will be listed, monitored and assisted by medical staff to ensure institutional delivery.

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