The Union Home Ministry on April 29, 2021 asked states to consider Containment Measures as Conveyed in the Advisory of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare of April 25th for immediate implementation based on their assessment of the situation till May 31, 2021.
The states/ UTs have been asked to take necessary containment measures, as specified under the relevant provisions of the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005, till May 31st.
The issuance of the latest guidelines has ruled out the possibility of a nationwide lockdown.
MHA guidelines to States/ UTs: Key Highlights
The Home Affairs Ministry has directed:
1. National Directives for COVID-19 Management shall continue to be strictly followed in the country.
2. All District Magistrates shall strictly enforce containment measures taken by states and union territories and national directives.
3. Any person violating these measures will face legal action.
Why containment is important?
The Home Ministry explained by stating in its order that the virus transmits through a human host and therefore, it is imperative to understand that to contain the transmission of the virus, the strategies involve not just containing the virus but also the human host.
Key Focus Areas
Containment: The Ministry stated that the main focus will be on containment to flatten the current curve of the pandemic.
Night Curfew: The movement of individuals will be strictly prohibited during the night except for essential activities. The local administration shall decide the duration of the night curfew hours and issue orders.
Restricting mingling of people: The Ministry noted that the spread of the infection has to be controlled by restricting the mingling of people.
What will not be allowed?
Gatherings: All kinds of gatherings including social, political, entertainment, sports, cultural, religious, festival-related will be prohibited.
Shopping Malls/ Cinema halls: All shopping malls, cinema halls, restaurants, bars, sports complexes, spas, gyms, swimming pools will remain closed.
Religious Places: All religious places to remain closed for the public.
What will be open?
•All essential services including health care services, fire, police, banks, electricity, water and sanitation will be permitted to continue.
•Movement of public transport will also be allowed.
•All incidental services needed for the smooth functioning of these activities shall also continue.
•Public Transport: All kinds of public transport including buses, metros, cabs and autos and trains will continue to operate at a maximum capacity of 50 percent.
•Inter/Intra-state travel: No restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement.
•Offices: All offices including both public and private can operate with 50 percent staff.
•All industrial and scientific establishments can also continue to operate provided their workforce is following social distancing protocol. They shall also be tested from time to time.
What will be restricted?
Marriages: Marriages will be allowed but can be attended by up to only 50 people
Funerals: Funerals or last rites can be attended by only 20 people maximum.