In an unprecedented move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, March 24, enforced complete lockdown in all of India to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, officially known as SARS-COV-2. The lockdown will remain in effect for a period of 21 days and will be lifted on April 15.

While appealing to the nation to stay indoors to avoid the threat of COVID-19, PM Modi assured citizens that the central and the state governments are working round the clock to ensure the smooth supply of all the necessary items across the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra ModiTwitter

Shortly after the Prime Minister's address, the Ministry Of Home Affairs (MHA) issued a list of measures that all the other departments of the government, as well as the state governments, need to undertake to contain COVID-19. The MHA also briefed the authorities regarding the functioning of the essential services during the 21-day lockdown.

Based on the MHA's guidelines, we have compiled a list of what will remain open and what will be shut.

Services that will remain open:

  • Central armed forces, police, home guards, civil defence, disaster management services and prisons.
  • District administration and treasury.
  • Municipal bodies (electricity, water and sanitation).
  • Hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as chemist and medical equipment shops, laboratories, clinics, nursing homes, etc.
  • Shops dealing with ration, food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat and fish and animal fodder.
  • Banks, insurance offices and ATMs.
  • Print and electronic media.
  • Telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services.
  • Delivery services dealing with food items, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.
  • Petrol pumps and LPG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets.
  • Power generation, transmission and distribution units and services.
  • Capital and debt market services as notified by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
  • Cold storage and warehousing services.
  • Private security services.
  • Manufacturing units of essential commodities.
  • Fire, law and order and emergency services.
  • Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels, which are accommodating those stranded due to lockdown.
  • Establishments earmarked for quarantine facilities.

Services that will remain shut:

  • All other offices of the central government.
  • All other offices of the state governments.
  • All other commercial and private establishments.
  • All other industrial establishments.
  • All other hospitality services.
  • Transportation services (air, rail, and roadways).
  • Educational training, research and coaching institutions.
  • Places of worship.

Besides, all sorts of gatherings, be it social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural or religious, have been barred. In the case of funerals, a congregation of no more than 20 persons is permitted.

The MHA has also warned that those violating the containment measures will be proceeded according to the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Also, legal action will be taken against the offenders under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

The number of COVID-19 cases in the country has gone past 500 and the threat of community transmission is looming large.