After reviewing the COVID-19 situation in the country, the Centre extended the lockdown by two more weeks. In essence, from May 4, 2020, to May 18, 2020. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), issued guidelines for different zones across the country – Red, Orange and Green – depending on the risk profiling of various districts, in its order.
Criteria for Identifying Zones
–Green Zones will be districts with either zero confirmed cases till date; or, no confirmed case in the last 21 days.
-Red Zones will be according to the total number of active cases, doubling rate of confirmed cases, the extent of testing and surveillance feedback from the districts.
–Those districts, which are neither defined as Red nor Green, shall be classified as Orange zones.
Districts Having More Than 1 Municipal Corporation to Classify into 2 Zones
A number of districts have one or more Municipal Corporations. Now, such districts will be classified into two Zones, i.e., one Zone for the area under the boundary of the Municipal Corporation and, another for the area falling outside the boundary.
Containment Zones: Decided By Districts
Containment zones will be defined by District Administrations, taking into account the total number of active cases, their geographical area, and the need to have well-drawn perimeters for the enforcement. The local authority shall ensure 100% coverage of Aarogya Setu app in Containment Zones and have increased surveillance protocols. Ensure no movement of people in and out of these Zones, except for medical emergencies, and for maintaining the supply of essential goods and services.
States Can Decide ‘Clean Zones’
States will be allowed to decide if in a particular district there is a clean zone. This is left to their discretion, and applicable in districts with both rural and urban population. If urban areas are Red Zone and rural in the same district doesn’t have a case, the state can treat the rural area in the same district as an Orange Zone.
Movement of People Restricted: Only Between 7 am and 7 pm
Movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm to 7 am. Local authorities shall issue orders under appropriate provisions of law, such as prohibitory orders [curfew] under Section 144 of Criminal Procedural Code to ensure strict compliance.
Elderly People, Children, and Pregnant Women Advised to Stay Home
In all zones, persons above 65 years of age, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years; shall stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.
OPDs, Clinics Not Allowed to Function in Containment Zones
OPDs and medical clinics permitted to operate in Red, Orange and Green Zones, with social distancing norms and other safety precautions. But not permitted within the Containment Zones.
Activities Allowed in Red Zones
Certain activities allowed in Red Zones, but with restrictions:
– Movement of individuals and vehicles allowed only for permitted activities; with a maximum of 2 persons (besides the driver) in four-wheelers, and with no pillion rider on two-wheelers.
– Industrial establishments in urban areas in Special Economic Zones, Export Oriented Units, industrial estates and industrial townships with access control have been permitted.
– Manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw material and intermediates; production units, which require continuous process, and their supply chain.
– Construction activities in urban areas, limited to in-site construction and construction of renewable energy projects.
– All standalone (single) shops, neighbourhood (colony) shops and shops in residential complexes, permitted to remain open in urban areas, without any difference of essential or non-essential.
-E-Commerce activities, in the Red Zones; permitted only in respect of essential goods.
– Private offices can operate with up to 33% strength as per requirement, with the remaining persons working from home.
Liquor and Paan Shops Allowed in Green Zones
Liquor stores and paan shops will be allowed to function in green zones but while ensuring minimum six feet distance from each other and ensuring that not more 5 persons are present at one time at the shop: MHA.
Buses Can Operate But With Not More Than 50% Seating in Green Zones
Buses can operate with up to 50% seating capacity and bus depots can operate with up to 50% capacity.
Special Trains Only For Those Registered by State Governments: Railways
Special trains run by the Railways planned only for nominated people identified and registered by state governments. “We will not issue any tickets to any individual or entertain any request from any group or individual. We will allow only those passengers to board whom state govt officials will bring to Railway Stations. State government is the final authority to decide that who will travel in our trains.”: Railways
States to be Charged for Special Trains
Officials of the Indian Railways also said that there are charges for states; for ferrying stranded migrant workers in special trains during the lockdown.