India extends coronavirus lockdown for 2 weeks

India extends coronavirus lockdown for 2 weeks

The Indian government extended the nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus by another two weeks or 14 days.

India’s home affairs ministry (MHA) on Friday announced the extension with a detailed guideline. This is in addition to the extended lockdown due to end on May 4 as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to India Today, the decision to extend the lockdown further was taken after considering the risk-profiling of various districts across the country. The MHA has also issued specific guidelines to regulate different economic activities during this period.

Still Prohibited:

According to the MHA’s order on Friday, some activities will remain prohibited despite the classification of red, orange and green zones. These include travel by air, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road. Schools, colleges, training/coaching centres and other educational institutions will also remain closed.

Orange Zones:

The government has allowed certain activities in orange zones, apart from the ones permitted in red zones. Taxis and cab aggregators will be allowed to operate only with one driver and two passengers per car in orange zones. In addition, the inter-district movement of individuals in orange zones will also be allowed for permitted activities. Four-wheelers will be allowed to ply on roads with a maximum of two passengers along with pillion riding on two-wheelers, the MHA’s order said.

Red Zones:

“A large number of other activities are allowed in the Red Zones,” adds the MHA order. It identified these activities as all industrial and construction activities in rural areas, including MNREGA works, food processing units and brick kilns. All agriculture activities in rural areas have also been exempted from the extended lockdown along with all shops, animal husbandry activities.

Green Zones:

E-commerce has also been allowed to resume operations and deliver non-essential goods in green and orange zones. SEZ and export-oriented units along with industrial estates and industrial townships with access control have also been permitted to get back to work.

While inter-state and intra-state movement will continue to be restricted, buses have been allowed to operate in green zones only with 50 per cent of their capacity. The same rule will be applicable to bus depots.