Third Coronavirus Lockdown
The Indian government has announced extending lockdown till May 17. However, the government has allowed some relaxations to mitigate the hardships of the public. Also, the government has divided the country into Green, Red, and orange zones based on coronavirus risk profiling.
The Home Ministry has announced that travel by air, rail, metro, and inter-state movement by road shall remain closed. Also, schools, colleges, and other educational, training, and coaching institutions will remain closed. Besides, hospitality services like hotels, bars and restaurants, and activities related to mass gatherings like sports, gymnasium are on the prohibited list. Also, cinemas and places of worship will be closed during the third coronavirus lockdown. However, there will be no restriction on the movement of goods between states.
Activities Allowed in Red Zones
The government has allowed movement of people and vehicles in the third coronavirus lockdown. The permitted activities include manufacturing of essential goods like drugs, medical devices, manufacturing of IT hardware, and jute industry. Also, construction activities can resume in case the workers reside on-site.
Standalone shops in residential areas and complexes can open for both essential and non-essential items. Also, e-commerce companies will deliver only essential items. Private workspaces can operate with 33 per cent strength. Besides, operations of homes for senior citizens, children, destitute, and others will be operational. Besides, emergency, health, sanitation, and security services will be provided. Government offices will operate too.
The government has allowed the working of commercial enterprises involved in print and electronic media, IT and IT-enabled services, data and call centres, cold storage and warehousing services. That apart, private security, and facility management services, and services provided by self-employed persons will remain operational, except for barbers.
All the activities allowed in urban areas of red zones are allowed. Also, there will be no restrictions on agriculture, animal husbandry, and plantation activities, health services. Besides, the financial sector, along with courier, postal, and warehouses, will provide services in rural areas.
All activities permitted in the red zone along with taxi and cab services (two passengers with one driver). Also, people can move inter-district for permitted activities only in 4 wheelers with two passengers with a driver and pillion riding on two-wheelers. The government has strictly prohibited bus services.
All activities allowed in orange zones. Buses can operate with 50% capacity. Domestic help is allowed in all three zones.
The red zones are subject to intensified contact tracing and house-to-house surveillance. Anyone found not following the guidelines is subject to fine and imprisonment.
In all, India’s aggressive testing is limited to red zones. It needs to scale up to more as a low rate of the positive cases indicates a low rate of testing and unchecked virus spread.