Coranavirus | Transportation of all goods, essential and non-essential, allowed during lockdown: Home Ministry (Photo Credit: IANS)
The Centre has asked all state and Union Territories (UTs) to allow transportation of all essential and non-essential goods during the 21-day nationwide lockdown to fight coronavirus breakout. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said there should be no distinction between essential and non-essential goods. The home secretary made it clear that the newspaper delivery supply chain was also allowed under exemptions given for print media.
In a letter to chief secretaries of the states and the Union territories, Bhalla said the entire supply chain of milk collection and distribution, including its packing materials, has also been allowed during the lockdown period.
“Groceries, including hygiene products such as hand wash, soaps, disinfectants, oral care items, battery cells and chargers, are also allowed,” he said.
The home secretary also included the services of the Indian Red Cross Society under the Establishment of National Disaster Management Authority.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a nationwide lockdown on March 24 for 21 days in order to arrest the spread of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, the Home Ministry has asked all states and UTs to make provisions for food and shelter for stranded labourers who have left for their native places. The Home Ministry said that the government has given sufficient funds to the states, UTs and now they must make provisions for food and shelter for all stranded labourers.
The ministry has also asked employers to provide their workers full wages on due date without deduction for closed down period. Taking cognizance of various reports of landlords asking for rent from the labourers, the ministry said that the landlords cannot ask for rent for lockdown period from workers living in rented accommodation, cannot ask them to vacate. The government further added that the SPs, DMs will be held personally responsible for its strict implementation.