Centre Objects To Relaxation Of Lockdown In Kerala

The government of India has taken strong objection to Kerala government’s revised guidelines for lockdown relaxation, saying that the latter’s move amounts to dilution of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on April 15 under the Disaster Management Act 2005.

The government of Kerala has circulated revised guidelines for lockdown measures. In its order, the Kerala government has allowed the opening of activities that are prohibited in the April 15 MHA order, sources informed.

The Government of Kerala allowed opening of local workshops; Barber shops; restaurants, two passengers in the back seat of four wheeler; pillion riding on scooters.

Such additional activities allowed by the Kerala government include the opening of book stores, MSMEs in municipal limits and bus travel in the cities/towns for short distance, sources added.

India is under a nation-wide lockdown which was imposed on March 25 and later extended on April 14 to stem the spread of coronavirus which has claimed over 500 lives in the country.

In his address to the nation on April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of lockdown till May 3 and also said that restrictions will be relaxed in places where there is no hotspot after April 20 .

The Ministry of Home Affairs on April 15 released new lockdown-guidelines for the country listing select economic activities that will be allowed to function after April 20 only after the review of the COVID-19 situation in India.

Notably, the MHA had said that the revised guidelines will not apply in containment zones, as demarcated by States.

The exemptions given by the Ministry are:–People working in MNREGA, especially those involved in irrigation and water conservation activities, can resume their duties while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks.–The farming industry will remain open. The states/UTs will have to ensure decentralisation in the procurement and marketing of the harvest.–Animal husbandry, fishing industry and horticulture industry will be open. The supply chain of the animal husbandry will now be open.–Rural industries, especially food processing industries will now be open.–Health services will continue as earlier.–The essential goods supply chain will continue to function.

A total of 17,265 confirmed cases have been reported in India including 543 deaths. 2,547 people, who were COVID-19 positive, have recovered or migrated, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Monday.


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