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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in its order on Friday extended the nationwide lockdown for another 14 days, till May 17, 2020. Apart from defining what would lead to the classification of a district into red, orange and green zone, the MHA has also allowed certain economic activities to resume from May 4 onwards.
All educational institutions, including schools, colleges, training/coaching centres, will remain closed irrespective of the zone. The same will apply to air, rail, metro and road travel with very few exceptions. The government has also permitted hospital OPDs and medical clinics to operate in all zones, with the exception of containment zones.
The MHA has stated that districts that are neither defined as green nor red zones will fall into the category of orange zones. A red zone will be classified as an orange zone if it reports no new confirmed case of Covid-19 in 21 days.
Taxis and cab operators will be allowed to operate in orange zones, with 1 driver and two passengers.
The inter-district movement of individuals and vehicles is allowed only for permitted activities.
Private four-wheelers will be allowed to ply on the roads only with two passengers apart from a driver.
All economic activities that have been permitted in red zones will also be allowed to resume in orange zones from May 4 onwards. These include SEZs, EOUs, and manufacturing units of essential goods, IT hardware, jute and packaging material.
In orange zones, only in-situ construction will be allowed in urban areas apart from construction of renewable energy projects.
The MHA has identified red zones as districts with the highest caseload contributing to 80 per cent of Covid-19 cases of each state or a district with a doubling rate of less than four days. Here are the activities allowed in red zones.
Movement of individuals/vehicles for permitted activities (Two persons besides the driver for four-wheelers and no pillion riding for two-wheelers).
Special economic zones, export-oriented units, industrial estates/townships with access control in urban areas that fall into red zones have been permitted to resume operations. Manufacturing units producing essential goods (medical devices, pharmaceuticals) are also allowed to function in red zones.
In red zones, manufacturing of IT hardware and the jute industry along with manufacturers of packaging material have been given the go-ahead to operate, provided that safety guidelines are followed.
Construction activities in rural areas that fall in red zones, has been permitted only to in-situ construction where the workers are available on site. The construction of renewable energy projects is also allowed.
In red areas, all standalone shops (both in urban and rural areas) and shops in residential complexes have been allowed to reopen for business.
In red zones, e-commerce activities are allowed limited to essential goods.
Private offices in red zones will be allowed to operate with 33 per cent of their strength.
Government offices in red zones will be allowed to function with senior officers of the Deputy Secretary level and above at full strength, with the remaining staff attending up to 33 per cent as per requirement.
Even in red zones, defense and security services, health and family welfare, police, prisons, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management and related services, National Informatics Centre (NIC), customs, Food Corporation of India (FCI), National Cadet Corps (NCC), Nehru Yuvak Kendra (NYK) and Municipal services have been allowed to function with no restrictions.
All industrial and construction activities in rural areas that fall in red zones have been allowed. These include MNREGA works, food-processing units and brick kilns.
In Red zones, all agriculture and animal husbandry (including inland and marine fisheries) activities, inclusive of their supply chain, will be able to function.
All health services, including AYUSH, have been permitted to operate in red zones.
Banks, NBFCs, insurance and capital market activities along with credit co-operative societies will function in red zones.
In red zones, homes for children, senior citizens and widows (including Anganwadis) have been allowed to function.
Apart from courier/postal services, public utility offices (including internet) will remain open in red zones.
The MHA order further clarifies that print and electronic media, IT and IT-enabled services, data and call centres, cold storage and warehousing services, private security and facility management services, and services provided by self-employed persons, except for barbers are permitted in red zones.