PM Modi goes a step forward, places India under complete lockdown for 21 days

In an apparent effort to curb the outbreak of coronavirus in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday (March 24) announced a total lockdown in the country from midnight for 21 days.

Addressing the nation for the second time in a week, PM Modi said, “From 12 am of March 24 entire country will be on complete lockdown for three weeks (21 days) due to COVID-19,” said PM Modi.”

He added that the lockdown is in a way curfew and would be more stringent than Janata curfew.

Here’s what it means, according to guidelines put out by the Centre shortly after PM Modi’s announcement:

What is shut:

  • All transport, trains, flights, buses, autorickshaws, cabs
  • All government offices except those taking care of essential services
  • All commercial and private establishments
  • Industrial and hospitality establishments
  • All educational institutions, including colleges, schools and coaching centres
  • All places of worship, religious congregations
  • All social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions

What is not shut:

  • Banks, ATMs, insurance offices
  • Ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder
  • Essential services like sanitation, water supply, power
  • Hospitals and all related medical establishments, including dispensaries, chemists, labs, clinics, nursing homes, ambulance, both in public and private sector.
  • Transport for all medical personnel, nurses, paramedical staff
  • Home delivery of food, medicines, medical equipment
  • Print and electronic media, telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services and IT-enabled services (for essential services)
  • Petrol pumps, LPG, petroleum and gas retail, storage outlets
  • Power generation, transmission and distribution units and services
  • Cold storage and warehousing services
  • Private security services
  • Industrial units involved in manufacturing essential commodities.
  • Transport of essential goods, fire, law and order and emergency services
  • Establishments used for quarantine.
  • Defence, central armed police forces, treasury
  • Public utilities like petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG
  • Disaster management, post offices, police, home guards, fire and emergency services, prisons.

Penalties for violating lockdown:

  • All persons who have arrived in India after February 15 and all directed quarantine will stay home or face legal action. The violators could be put behind bars for six months.
  • Punishment for obstruction of duty: One to two years in jail or fine
  • Punishment for false claim: Up to two years in jail and fine
  • Punishment for false alarm: Up to one year in jail or with fine