Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a complete lockdown across the country for 21 days from Tuesday midnight, asserting that social distancing is the only way out for the country in its decisive battle against the coronavirus.
The Ministry of Home Affairs published guidelines, which said the offices of the Government of India, its autonomous/subordinate offices and public corporations shall remain closed, but there will be an exception for “defence, central armed police forces, treasury, public utilities (including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG), disaster management, power generation and transmission units, post offices, National Informatics Centre, Early Warning Agencies.”
It said the offices of the State/Union Territory governments, their autonomous bodies, corporations, etc., shall remain closed with exception to police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, and prisons, district administration and treasury, electricity, water, sanitation, municipal bodies (only staff required for essential services like sanitation, personnel related to water supply, etc., will be allowed to work).
“Hospitals and all related medical establishments, including their manufacturing and distribution units, both in public and private sector, such as dispensaries, chemist and medical equipment shops, laboratories, clinics, nursing homes, ambulance, etc., will continue to remain functional. The transportation for all medical personnel, nurses, para-medical staff, other hospital support services shall be permitted,” the MHA has said.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu recorded its first death due to Covid-19 in the wee hours of Wednesday.