Union Minister for Home Affairs, Amit Shah chaired a review meeting on preparations to fight the COVID-19 epidemic, in New Delhi on Saturday. This is the third review meeting since the nationwide lockdown began on March 25, in the wake of this epidemic.
In the meeting, Shah said that as per the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government is leaving no stone unturned to put in place adequate arrangements to make daily essentials accessible to common people. The Government is fully committed to ensure the safety and security of every citizen, he added.
Present in the meeting were Ministers of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai and G. Kishan Reddy, along with senior officers of the control room of the ministry. Norms of ‘Social Distancing’ were strictly adhered to in the meeting.
Decisions of the Home Ministry taken so far regarding COVID-19
Consolidated Guidelines on the measures to be taken by Ministries/Departments of Government of India, State/Union Territory Governments and State/ Union Territory Authorities for containment of COVID-19 Epidemic in the Country, as notified by Ministry of Home Affairs on 24.03.2020 and further modified on 25.03.2020 and 27.03.2020.
Offices of the Government of India, its Autonomous/ Subordinate Offices and Public Corporations shall remain closed.
a. Defence, central armed police forces.
b. Treasury (including, Pay & Accounts Offices, Financial Advisers and field
offices of the Controller General of Accounts, with bare minimum staff),
c. Public utilities (including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG), power generation
and transmission units, post offices.
d. Disaster management and Early Warning Agencies
e. National Informatics Centre.
f. Customs clearance at ports/airports/land border, GSTN; and MCA 21
Registry with bare minimum staff.
g. Reserve Bank of India and RBI regulated financial markets and entities
like NPCI, CCIL, payment system operators and standalone primary
dealers with bare minimum staff.
Offices of the State/ Union Territory Governments, their Autonomous Bodies, Corporations, etc. shall remain closed.
a. Police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster
management, and prisons.
b. District administration and Treasury (including field offices of the
Accountant General with bare minimum staff)
c. Electricity, water, sanitation.
d. Municipal bodies—Only staff required for essential services like sanitation,
personnel related to water supply etc.
e. Resident Commissioner of States, in New Delhi with bare minimum staff,
for coordinating Covid-19 related activities and internal kitchens
f. Forest offices :Staff/ workers required to operate and maintain zoo,
nurseries, wildlife, firefighting in forests, watering plantations, patrolling
and their necessary transport movement.
g. Social Welfare Department, with bare minimum staff, for operations ofHomes for children/ disables/ senior citizens/ destitute/ women /widows;
Observation homes; pensions.
h. Agencies engaged in procurement of agriculture products, including MSP operations.
i. ‘Mandis’ operated by the Agriculture Produce Market Committee or as
notified by the State Government.
The above offices (Sl. No 1 & 2) should work with minimum number of employees.
All other offices may continue to work-from-home only.
Hospitals, Veterinary Hospitals and all related medical establishments, including their manufacturing and distribution units, both in public and private sector, such as dispensaries, chemist, Pharmacies (including Jan Aushadhi Kendra) and medical equipment shops, laboratories, Pharmaceutical research labs, clinics, nursing homes, ambulance etc. will continue to remain functional. The transportation for all medical personnel, nurses, para-medical staff, other hospital support services be permitted.
Commercial and private establishments shall be closed down.
a. Shops, including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder,
fertilizers, seeds and pesticides. However, district authorities may encourage and facilitate home delivery to minimize the movement of
individuals outside their homes.
b. Banks, insurance offices, and ATMs including IT vendors for banking operations; Banking Correspondent and ATM operation and cash
c. Print and electronic media.
d. Telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services.
IT and IT enabled Services only (for essential services) and as far as
possible to work from home.
e. Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical
equipment through E-commerce.
f. Petrol pumps, LPG, Petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets.
g. Power generation, transmission and distribution units and services.
h. Capital and debt market services as notified by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
i. Cold storage and warehousing services.
j. Private security services.
k. Data and call centers for Government activities only.
l. Farming operations by farmers and farm workers in the field.
m. ‘Custom Hiring Centres (CHC)’ related to farm machinery.
All other establishments may work-from-home only.
Industrial Establishments will remain closed.
a. Manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceutical,
medical devices, their raw materials & intermediates.
b. Production units, which require continuous process, after obtaining
required permission from the State Government.
c. Coal and mineral production, transportation, supply of explosives and
activities incidental to mining operations.
d. Manufacturing units of packaging material for food items, drugs,
pharmaceutical and medical devices.
e. Manufacturing and packaging units of Fertilizers, Pesticides and Seeds
All transport services – air, rail, roadways – will remain suspended.
a. Transportation for essential goods only.
b. Fire, law and order and emergency services.
c. Operations of Railways, Airports and Seaports for cargo movement, relief
and evacuation and their related operational organisations.
d. Inter-state movement of goods/ cargo for inland and exports.
e. Cross land border movement of essential goods including petroleum
products and LPG, food products, medical supplies.
f. Intra and inter-state movement of harvesting and sowing related machines like combined harvester and other agriculture/horticulture implements.
Hospitality Services to remain suspended
a. Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels, which are accommodating tourists
and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air
and sea crew.
b. Establishments used/ earmarked for quarantine facilities.
All educational, training, research, coaching institutions etc. shall remain closed.
All places of worship shall be closed for public. No religious congregations will be permitted, without any exception.
All social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions /
gatherings shall be barred.
In case of funerals, congregation of not more than twenty persons will be
All persons who have arrived into India after 15.02.2020, and all such persons who have been directed by health care personnel to remain under strict home/ institutional quarantine for a period as decided by local Health Authorities, failing which they will be liable to legal action under Sec. 188 of the IPC.
Wherever exceptions to above containment measures have been allowed, the organisations/employers must ensure necessary precautions against COVID-19 virus, as well as social distance measures, as advised by the Health Department from time to time.
In order to implement these containment measures, the District Magistrate will deploy Executive Magistrates as Incident Commanders in the respective local jurisdictions. The Incident Commander will be responsible for the overall implementation of these measures in their respective jurisdictions. All other line department officials in the specified area will work under the directions of such incident commander. The Incident Commander will issue passes for enabling essential movements as explained.
All enforcing authorities to note that these strict restrictions fundamentally relate to movement of people, but not to that of essential goods.
The Incident Commanders will in particular ensure that all efforts for mobilization of resources, workers and material for augmentation and expansion of hospital infrastructure shall continue without any hindrance.
Any person violating these containmentmeasures will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Sec. 188 of the IPC.