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Nationwide Lockdown To Eliminate Covid-19

The National Disaster Management Authority being satisfied that Covid-19 is a serious threat posed to the country today, has considered it important to take steps for protecting the health of the citizens.

In exercise of the powers conferred upon it under section 10(2)(I) of the Disaster Management Act the National Executive Committee has issued guidelines as per the Annexure , to Ministries/ Departments of Government of India, State / Union Territory Governments and State / Union Territory Authorities for containment of this epidemic. This order has been enforced in all the parts of the country from 25.03.2020 for a period of 21 days.

  1. The offices of the Government of India along with its Autonomous / Subordinate Offices and Public Corporations would remain closed.
    However there are certain exemptions under this category which are as follows.
    Defence, central armed police forces, treasury, public utilities which include petroleum, CNG, LPG PNG, power generation and transmission units as well as post offices and a few others.
  2. Offices of the State /Union Territory Governments, their Autonomous Bodies, Corporations etc would remain shut.
    The exceptions are police, home guards, civil defence, fire and other emergency services along with services providing electricity, water and sanitation.
    It has also been specified that the above mentioned offices can work only with a minimum number of employees.
  3. Hospitals and other medical establishments such as dispensaries, nursing homes and chemists would continue to remain functional.
  4. Commercial and other private establishments shall remain closed down.

    There are certain exceptions which include shops providing fruits and vegetables, banks, insurance offices and ATM’s, print and electronic media , internet services, , petrol pumps, power generation units and other private security services .
    Delivery of essential goods like food and other medical equipment shall be done through E- commerce.
    All the other establishments have been mandated to work from home only.
  5. Industrial Establishments would remain closed apart from manufacturing units of essential commodities and production units requiring continuous process after permission has been obtained from the State Government.
  6. All transport services would remain suspended including roadways, rail and air.The exceptions in this category are fire, law and order and emergency services.
  7. Hospitality services shall be terminated.

    The exceptions are hotels, lodges which provide accommodation to the tourists and other persons who are stranded because of the lockdown.
  8. All educational, training and research institutions would remain closed.
  9. All the places of worship shall remain closed to avoid crowding of the public.
  10. All social, political, entertainment and other religious gatherings have been barred.
  11. If there is a funeral, only 20 persons are permitted to involve themselves in the execution of the funeral rituals.
  12. It has directed all the persons who have arrived to India after 15.02.2020 to remain under institutional quarantine for a time span decided by the local health authorities, for if not legal action can be initiated against them under section 188 of the IPC.
  13. It has authorized that if any person is found guilty of violating the above containment measures, strict action would be taken as per the provisions of section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act 2005, along with legal action under section 188 of the IPC.

The Prime Minister on the 24th of March 2020 by a formal announcement imposed a lockdown for the entire nation which is to be followed for the next 21 days. It is an extraordinary measure to secure our country from this massive outbreak.

Addressing the countrymen, he stated that this is indeed a challenge for all the citizens and even the developed countries like the USA and a few others seem to be striving hard to resolve this issue.

It is a drastic move, keeping in consideration the density of population of our country. Emphasizing upon the importance ofsocial distancing he added that this is the only remedy which appears appropriate to break the chain of transmission.

In the present circumstances it would be advisable for all the citizens to stay unruffled by understanding the cause owing to which the nationwide lockdown has been ordered. Cooperating with the government and extending a supporting hand would not only help in tackling the global issue but also enable us to eradicate this virus and ensure a clean and healthy environment to sustain ourselves in the near future. Presuming that the order would elicit a swarm of reactions , it can be derived that resorting to panic, engaging into debates, spreading false rumors regarding the issue, expressing animosity or resentment will not lead us anywhere but in turn result in aggravating the situation.

The scenario is no less than a nightmare, a minuscule virus getting snowballed into a global pandemic and leaving devastating effects appearing almost impossible to terminate as the ratio of fatalities is soaring high almost every day!

Trouble and inconvenience is certain to emerge due to the implementation of this lockdown but if this order is observed sincerely by all the citizens, we are bound to release ourselves from this turmoil which the country is wrapped up in and come out victoriously.

Stay socially distant but maintain concord. Mutual help and discipline will help us overcome this jeopardy.

Written By: Nirali Deepak Parekh - I am a lawyer from Mumbai
Email: [email protected]

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