The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today has extended the period of Lockdown for a further period of two weeks w.e.f 04.05.2020 and new guidelines will be applicable based on the risk profiling of the districts into Red(Hotspot), Green and Orange zones.
The criteria for identification of districts as Red, Green and Orange Zones have been spelt out in detail in the letter dated April 30, 2020, issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India.
- Green Zones will be districts with either zero confirmed cases till date; or, no confirmed case in the last 21 days.
- Red Zones will take into account the total number of active cases, doubling rate of confirmed cases, extent of testing and surveillance feedback from the districts.
- Those districts, which are neither defined as Red nor Green, shall be classified as Orange zones.
The classification of districts into Red, Green and Orange Zones will be shared by MoHFW with the States and Union Territories (UTs) on a weekly basis, or earlier, as required.While States and UTs can include additional districts as Red and Orange Zones, they may not lower the classification of a district included by MoHFW in the list of Red or Orange Zones.
The most sensitive areas of the country, from the spread of COVID-19 point of view, and falling within the Red and Orange Zones, are designated as Containment Zones.The local authority shall ensure 100% coverage of Aarogya Setu app among the residents of the Containment Zone. Containment Zones would have intensified surveillance protocols, with contact tracing, house to house surveillance, home/ institutional quarantining of persons based on their risk assessment, and clinical management. Strict perimeter control would need to be ensured, so that there is no movement of people in and out of these Zones, except for medical emergencies, and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services. No other activity is permitted within the Containment Zones.
Under the new guidelines, a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the Zone. These include travel by air, rail, metro and inter-State movement by road; running of schools, colleges, and other educational and training/ coaching institutions; hospitality services, including hotels and restaurants; places of large public gatherings, such as cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes etc; social, political, cultural and other kinds of gatherings; and, religious places/ places of worship for public. However, movement of persons by air, rail and road is allowed for select purposes, and for purposes as permitted by MHA.
The new guidelines also prescribe certain measures for well being and safety of persons. Hence, movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm to 7 am. Local authorities shall issue orders under appropriate provisions of law, such as prohibitory orders [curfew] under Section 144 of CrPC, for this purpose, and ensure strict compliance. In all zones, persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.
In the Red Zones, outside the Containment Zones, certain activities are prohibited in addition to those prohibited throughout the country. These are: plying of cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws; running of taxis and cab aggregators; intra-district and inter-district plying of buses; and, barber shops, spas and saloons.
In the Orange Zones, in addition to activities permitted in Red Zone, taxis and cab aggregators will be permitted with 1 driver and 1 passenger only. Inter-district movement of individuals and vehicles will be allowed for permitted activities only. Four wheeler vehicles will have maximum two passengers besides the driver and pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheelers.
In the Green Zones, all activities are permitted except the limited number of activities which are prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the Zone. However buses can operate with upto 50% seating capacity and bus depots can operate with upto 50% capacity.
No separate/ fresh permissions will be required from authorities for activities already permitted to operate under the guidelines on Lockdown measures up to May 3, 2020. The Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) issued by MHA will continue to operate such as transit arrangement for foreign national(s) in India; release of quarantine persons; movement of stranded labour within States/ UTs; sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers, movement of stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons by road and rail.
State/ UT Governments are mandated to strictly enforce the lockdown guidelines and they shall not dilute these guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in any manner.