A three weeks nationwide lockdown has been imposed from Tuesday midnight, restricting many services to the general public. On Tuesday evening Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation and made a strong appeal to people to stay indoors and step out of home if necessary.
He also justified the move in the wake of highly infectious Coronavirus which has caused the death of 10 people and infecting more than 550.
“If we don’t handle these 21 days well, then our country, your family will go backwards by 21 years,” he said while allocating Rs 15000 crore for healthcare infrastructure to tackle Coronavirus.
But what does lockdown exactly mean?
It is an emergency protocol that usually debars people from leaving an area. It also restricts flow of information. The lockdown is imposed or initiated by someone in a position of authority. The protocol restricts many public services except essential one such as groceries, hospitals, pharmacies and banks.
According to PM Modi, the national lockdown will be akin to a curfew. It means stepping out of the house unless for an essential purpose will be a punishable offence.
What will remain open?
People can avail following services:
- Government offices of certain departments including defence, central armed police forces, treasury, public utilities (including petroleum, CNG, LPG and PNG), disaster management, power generation and transmission, post offices.
- State government offices of certain departments i.e police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, prisons, district admin and treasury, electricity, water and sanitation.
- Hospitals and all related medical establishments — both public and private. This includes dispensaries, chemists, equipment shops, labs, clinics and nursing home. Transportation for all medical personnel will be permitted.
- Shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder.
- Banks, insurance offices, ATMs
- Print and electronic media
- Delivery of essential goods like food, medicines, medical equipment through e-tailers
- Petrol pumps, LPG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets
- Capital and debt market services notified by SEBI
- Cold storage, warehousing services
- Hotels, home stays, lodges and motels which are accommodating tourists and those stranded due to lockdown or providing quarantine facilities
What will be closed?
Services that would be shut down during the lockdown include:
• All commercial and private establishments shall be closed.
• All establishments, except those exempted, will work from home only.
• Industrial establishments will remain closed.
• All transport services — air, rail, roadways will remain suspended.
• Hospitality services to remain suspended.
• All educational institutions will remain closed.
• All places of worship are closed. No religious congregations will be permitted.
• All social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural and religious functions will be banned.