In wake of the outbreak of Pandemic across the globe and country Government of India issued Orders prescribing lock down for containment of COVID-19 in accordance with Disaster Management Act 2005.
The press note from the GOI says, “While steps taken by State/UT Governments are in the right direction, lack of uniformity in the measures adopted as well as in their implementation, may not serve the objective of containing the spread of the virus. Considering the situation.”
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in exercise of the powers under section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, has issued an Order dated 24.03.2020, directing the Ministries/ Departments of Government of India, and the State/Union Territory Governments and State/ Union Territory to take effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
In compliance of the said Order of NDMA, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an Order dated 24.03.2020 under Section 10(2)(l) of the Disaster Management Act, directing the Ministries/ Departments of Government of India, State/Union Territory Governments and State/ Union Territory Authorities to take effective measures for ensuring social distancing so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The Order shall remain in force, in all parts of the country, for a period of 21 days with effect from 25.03.2020.
DETAILED GUIDELINES ON THE MEASURES TO BE TAKEN:
- Offices of the Govt of India, its Autonomous and sub ordinate offices and Public corporations shall remain closed. Exceptions : Defence, CAPF, Treasury, Public utilities (including Petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG), disaster management, power generation and transmission units, post offices, NIC, early warning Agencies.
- Offices of the state / union territory , their Autonomous and sub ordinate offices shall remain closed. Exceptions :Police, home guards, civil defence fire and emergency services disaster management and prisons At district level, district administration and treasury, electricity, water and sanitation. Staff of municipal bodies required for provision of essential services – sanitation and water supply – municipal bodies – will be open.
- Hospitals and medical establishments involved in manufacture and distribution such as dispensaries, hospitals, chemist and medical equipment shops will remain open. The transportation for all medical personnel, nurses , para-medical staff, other hospital support services will be permitted.
- Commercial and private establishments shall be closed down Exceptions: Shops including ration shops, dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder. However, district authorities may encourage and facilitate home delivery to minimize the movement of individuals outside their homes.Banks, insurance offices and ATMs. Print and electronic media Telecom, internet services, broadcasting and cable services and IT and IT enabled services can be open to the extent that they have to provide essential services. Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through e-commerce. Petrol pups, LPG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets.
- Industrial establishments will remain closed. Exceptions : Manufacturing Units of essential commodities,
- All transport services which includes AIR, ROADWAYS, RAILWAYS will remain suspended. Exceptions : Transportation of essential goods
- Hospitality services to remain suspended except those accommodating stranded tourists and people due to lockdown and emergency staff.
- All educational, training institutes, coaching institutes, research etc will remain closed.
- All places of worship shall be closed for public.
- Gathering in funerals congregations limited to 20 persons.
- All social / Political / sports/ entertainment/ religious functions etc shall be barred.
The guidelines order further lays onus on the organisations/ individuals. employers to ensure necessary precautions against the Virus outbreak. The District Magistrates to deploy Executive Magistrates as Incident commanders in respective jurisdiction who would be responsible for for the overall implementation of these orders. All the department officials in the respective area will work under Incident Commanders.
Incident commanders will be responsible for issuance of passes, mobilization of resources, augmentation and expansion of hospital infrastructure.
Any violation of the containment measures will invoke the provisions of Disaster Management Act 2005 which includes jail term and fine.