New Delhi – The Union Home Ministry has issued strict guidelines for the enforcement of 21-day complete nationwide lockdown in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, invoking the National Disaster Management Act which may result in imprisonment of up to two years for any violation.
All government offices, the offices of state and union territory governments, autonomous institutions, public corporations, commercial, private, industrial establishments shall remain closed, the guidelines issued by the ministry said.
However, fair price shops and those dealing with food, groceries, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, animal fodder will remain open, it said.
Banks, insurance offices, print and electronic media will also remain open, according to the guidelines.
All transport services — air, rail and roadways — shall remain suspended during the three-week period, it said.
“In case of funerals, congregations of not more than 20 persons will be permitted,” it said.
Hospitality services and educational institutions will remain suspended during the period.
However, hotels, homestays, lodges and motels which are accommodating tourists and people stranded due to the lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew have been exempted, it said.
Defence, Central Armed Police Forces, treasury, public utilities including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG, disaster management, power, warning agencies, state police, home guards, fire and emergency services, district administration and treasury, electricity, water, sanitation, and Municipal bodies (only staff required for essential services) have been exempted from lockdown, it said.
These offices should work with minimum number of employees while all other offices will work from home, it said.
District Magistrates shall deploy Executive Magistrates as incident commander to oversee overall implementation of these measures, it said.
To ensure strict implementation of these measures, the government has invoked Sections 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management of Act which mandate up to two years of imprisonment for any violation by individuals, companies or officials involved in implementation, they said.
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