The Ministry of Home Affairs extended the nationwide lockdown in the wake of Covid-19 for two more weeks starting May 4, laying down fresh guidelines regarding what to do and what not. It has put forward a list of activities that will be permitted and sectors that would remain operational in all the three zones — Red, Orange and Green — in which the states have been divided into depending on the number of cases reported from respective places. MHA also made Aarogya Setu App mandatory for all employees of both private and public sector offices, apart a host of other safety rules for them to abide by.
In its order, the MHA has mentioned:
All Government offices shall function with senior officers of the level of Deputy Secretary and above at full strength, and the remaining staff attending upto 33% as per requirement. Defense and Security services, Health and Family Welfare, Police, Prisons, Home Guards, Civil Defence, Fire and Emergency Services, Disaster management and related services, National Informatics Centre (NIC), Customs, Food Corporation of India (FCI), National Cadet Corps (NCC), Nehru Yuvak Kendra (NYK) and Municipal services shall function without any restrictions; delivery of public services shall be ensured and necessary staff will be deployed for such purpose.
Print and electronic media, IT and IT enabled services, data and call centres, cold storage and warehousing services, private security and facility management services, and services provided by self-employed persons, except for barbers etc. All these sectors would be operational while abiding by the guidelines the ministry has laid down for workplaces to ensure healthy habits being maintained everywhere.
The nationwide guidelines for workplaces are as follows
- Wearing of face cover is compulsory in all work places and adequate stock of such face covers shall be made available.
- All persons in charge of work places shall ensure social distancing as per the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, both within the work places and in company transport.Social distancing at work places shall be ensured through adequate gaps between shifts, staggering the lunch breaks of staff, etc.
- Provision for thermal scanning, hand wash and sanitizer preferably with touch free mechanism will be made at all entry and exit points and common areas. In addition, sufficient quantities of handwash and sanitizer shall be made available in the work places.
- Frequent sanitization of entire workplace, common facilities and all points which come into human contact e.g. door handles etc., shall be ensured, including between shifts.
- Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years shall stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.
- Use of Aarogya Setu App shall be made mandatory for all employees, both private and public. It shall be the responsibility of the Head of the respective Organizations to ensure 100% coverage of this app among the employees.
- Large physical meetings to be avoided.
- Hospitals/ clinics in the nearby areas, which are authorized to treat COVID-19 patients, should be identified and list should be available at work place all the times. Employees showing any symptom of COVID-19 should be immediately sent for check up to such facilities. Quarantine areas should be earmarked for isolating employees showing symptoms till they are safely moved to the medical facilities.
- Arrangements for transport facilities shall be ensured with social distancing, wherever personal/ public transport is not feasible.
- Intensive communication and training on good hygiene practices shall be taken
These are the nationwide guidelines for public places
- Wearing of face cover is compulsory in all public places.
- All persons in charge of public places and transport shall ensure social distancing as per the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- No organization/ manager of public place shall allow gathering of 5 or more persons
- Marriages related gatherings shall ensure social distancing, and the maximum number of guests allowed shall not be more than 50
- Funeral/ last rites related gatherings shall ensure social distancing, and the maximum numbers allowed shall not be more than 20
- Spitting in public places shall be punishable with fine, as may be prescribed by the State/ UT local authority
- Consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco etc. in public places is not allowed
- Shops selling liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco etc. will ensure minimum six feet distance (2 gaz ki doori) from each other, and also ensure that not more than 5 persons are present at one time at the shop
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