Home / News / India /  Covid-19: Lockdown extended by two weeks with effect from 4 May, says MHA

Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 to further extend the lockdown for a period of two weeks beyond 4 May, 2020 in order to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak in the country.

MHA has also issued new guidelines to regulate different activities in this period based on risk profiling of the districts of the country into Red (hotspot), Green and Orange zones.

The home ministry added, "A large number of other activities are allowed in the Red Zones. All industrial and construction activities in rural areas, including MNREGA works, food-processing units and brick-kilns are permitted."

Moreover, the guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations to the Orange and Green zones, MHA said in a statement.

In Orange Zones, inter-district movement of individuals and vehicles will be allowed for permitted activities only. Four-wheelers will have a maximum of 2 passengers besides the driver and pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheelers, stated MHA.

The latest guidelines expolained the restrictions. “These include travel by air, rail, metro and inter-State movement by road, running of schools, colleges, and other educational and training and coaching institutions; hospitality services, including hotels and restaurants; places of large public gatherings, such as cinema halls, malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes, social, political, cultural and other kinds of gatherings; and, religious places and places of worship for public," the home ministry stated.

Additionally, in Orange Zones, along with the activities permitted in Red Zone, taxis and cab aggregators will be permitted with one driver and two passengers.

The MHA also clarified that a limited number of activities will remain prohibited across India, irrespective of the zone, including travel by air, rail, metro and inter-State movement by road as well as running of schools, colleges, other educational and training/coaching centres.

In addition to that, movement of individuals in all zones, for all non-essential activities, shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm to 7 am, the MHA stated.

On 30 April, 2020, the Union Health Ministry had spelled out all major metropolitan cities—Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad—as red zones after the lockdown ends on May 3, and asked states and local bodies to demarcate containment areas and buffer zones for strict monitoring of movement.

Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have the highest number of red zones at 19 and 14 respectively, followed by Tamil Nadu at 12 and all of Delhi’s 11 districts marked as red zones.

The classification of the red, green and orange zones will be shared by health ministry with the State and Union Territories on a weekly basis or earlier as required, the MHA added.

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