India lockdown for 21 days starting midnight: What Shops, Offices and Services are Available for the Next Three Weeks?

For the second time in less than a week, PM Narendra Modi called for a nationwide lockdown starting from 25th March 2020, midnight. The duration of the lockdown will be 21 days. PM Modi said that it was necessitated due to the severity of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. The total cases of coronavirus have increased to 500 in India.

India lockdown for 21 days starting midnight: What Shops, Offices and Services are Available for the Next Three Weeks?

PM Modi said, "If we don't handle these 21 days well, then our country, your family will go backward by 21 years, We will have to pay the economic cost of this but [it] is the responsibility of everyone."". He also added, "To stop coronavirus, stay at a distance from each other and stay inside your houses,".

Reasons behind the central government's decision on a nationwide lockdown:

  • The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, the pandemic has spread across at least 190 countries. There have been at least 519 reported cases of a novel coronavirus in India. While 37 have recovered so far in India, 10 have died, And the World Health Organisation has declared it ‘Pandemic’.
  • Experts, keeping in view the global experiences of countries that have been successful in containing the spread of COVID-19 unlike some others where thousands of people died, have recommended that effective measures for social distancing should be taken to contain the spread of this pandemic.

Here's what will remain open and what won't

Offices of the central government
  • All offices of the government of India, its autonomous/subordinate offices and public corporations will be closed for the next 21 days.
  • However, offices related to defense, central armed police forces, treasury, public utilities like petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG, disaster management, power generation and transmission, post offices, National Informatics Centre, Early Warning Agencies will remain open. These offices are advised to work with a minimum number of employees.

Offices of state government
  • Across all states, offices of the police, home guards, civil defense, fire and emergency services, disaster management and prisons will remain functional. The district administration and treasury will also continue to work.
  • Offices to ensure electricity, water, sanitation will also function and remain open. Staff required for essential services like sanitation, personnel-related to water supply, etc, in municipal bodies will remain open. They are advised to work with a minimum number of employees.
Transport services
  • Air travel, railways, and roadways will remain suspended for the next 21 days. However, the transportation of essential goodwill continues to operate. In addition, fire, law and order and emergency services will remain open.
Medical facilities
  • All hospitals and related medical establishments of the public and private sectors like laboratories, clinics, nursing homes, ambulance, including their manufacturing and distribution units, will remain open and functional.
Commercial and private establishments
  • All ration shops (under PDS), and shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder will remain open, although governments are encouraged to facilitate home delivery.
  • Banks, insurance offices, and ATMs will remain open.
  • Telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting, and cable services will function as is, while IT and IT-enabled Services only (for essential services) are encouraged to work from home.
  • Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment will be done through E-commerce.
  • Petrol pumps, LPG, Petroleum and gas retail, and storage outlets will remain open.
  • Power generation, transmission and distribution units, and services in the private sector will provide electricity.
  • Cold storage and warehousing services will remain open, and so will private security services.
Industrial Establishments
  • To provide the interrupted supply of essential commodities, all of their manufacturing units will remain open. Production units may function after obtaining the required permission from the state government.
Hospitality Services
  • Hotels, homestays, lodges, and motels, which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew will remain open.

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