Coronavirus outbreak: All public places shut, but rural industries to open up

Updated: Apr 16, 2020, 07:45 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs mentions some relaxation in the lockdown rules from April 20

Migrant labourers stuck in the city during the nationwide lockdown, gather to demand transportation to go back to their homes, in Surat. Pic/AFP
Migrant labourers stuck in the city during the nationwide lockdown, gather to demand transportation to go back to their homes, in Surat. Pic/AFP

Industrial units in rural areas will be allowed to function from April 20 provided they follow social distancing norms while all kinds of public transport will be barred and public places closed till May 3, according to guidelines issued on Wednesday to enforce the second phase of the lockdown.

Wearing masks/face covers in public places is now compulsory across the country. Besides, strict ban enforced on the sale of liquor, gutka, tobacco etc under the new Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines that come a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3.

The PM also said necessary activities will be allowed from April 20 in identified areas of the country. Laying out the dos and don'ts for phase two of the pan India lockdown, the guidelines state that all work places should make adequate arrangements for temperature screening and must provide sanitisers at convenient places.

Services provided by self-employed electricians, IT repair personnel, plumbers, motor mechanics and carpenters will be allowed from April 20. Inter-state, inter-district movement of people, Metro, bus services will be prohibited till May 3. Manufacturing, industrial units with access control in SEZs, export oriented units, industrial estates, industrial townships will also be allowed to function from that date. Educational institutions, coaching centres, domestic, international air travel, train services will remain suspended, the ministry said. Public places such as cinema halls, malls, shopping complexes, gyms, sports complexes, swimming pools and bars will be shut too till May 3.

Leave without pay for Vistara employees

Vistara chief Leslie Thng on Wednesday announced that senior employees will be going on compulsory leave without pay for up to three days between April 15 and 30 as a measure to further conserve the airline's cash flow amid lockdown to combat the COVID-19 threat. On March 27, the airline had also introduced compulsory leave without pay for up to three days between April 1 and April 14 for the same set of senior employees.

'Monsoon will be normal this year'

Southwest monsoon will be normal this year, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday in its forecast for the four-month rainfall season in the country. In an online briefing, IMD Director General, M Mohapatra said the Long Period Average (LPA) of monsoon will be 100 per cent which falls in the "normal" category. "Monsoon will be normal this year," he said.

Gujarat CM Rupani goes into isolation

Gujarat Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani has decided to run the state administration without meeting anyone for the next one week after a Congress MLA whom he met tested positive for Coronavirus. Rupani's health is fine and he will run the state administration through technological facilities like video-conference, video-calling and tele-calling, Chief Minister's Office (CMO) secretary, Ashwani Kumar said on Wednesday. "No visitor will be allowed at the chief minister's residence for the next one week," Kumar said.

Doctors attacked in Moradabad

Stones were pelted at an ambulance carrying a team of medical personnel and police, which had gone to escort family members of a person who died of COVID-19 in UP's Moradabad, to a quarantine facility. "When our team boarded the ambulance a crowd started pelting stones. Some doctors are still there. We are injured," said the ambulance driver.

'Farmers will be paid in 3 days'

Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Kailash Chaudhary said the farmers will be paid within three days of their crops purchased by the government. He has also asked the states to make arrangements for procurement. The government procurement of wheat in many states, including MP and Punjab, has started from Wednesday. Haryana has announced to start purchasing mustard first and then wheat from April 20.

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