NEW DELHI: The MHA, most widely known as the Union Ministry of Home Affairs came up with new order for Union Territories (UTs) and states of India and appealed to them to "not dilute" their guidelines which have been imposed for the 4th phase of the lockdown than began Monday, May 18 for 2 more additional weeks and will last till 31 May. The newly established norms focussed towards opening-up red zones in order to enhance economic activities and allow transportation to manage the battle against the coronavirus. It will also help in limiting the damage caused economically.
The order which got issued by Ajay Bhalla, the Union Home Secretary, to all the Chief Secretaries of the nation-wide states and UTs, it says that the regions cannot dilute the restrictions which have been imposed within the MHA guidelines and only make them stricter if required based on the assessment level of the local authorities and there for the guidelines of the Health Ministry.
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The order got issued on Sunday after the MHA announced the rules for lockdown 4.0 to lower the spread of the deadly pandemic which up to now has claimed 3,029 deaths and infected over 96,000 people all over the country.
The MHA on Sunday issued updated guidelines regarding the lockdown restrictions, to contain the COVID-19 virus with "widespread relaxations given in the restrictions".
Under the new guidelines effective from Monday, May 18, states and UTs would now "delineate the red, orange and green zones, taking into consideration the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on Sunday".
Inside the red and orange zones, containment and buffer zones would be identified by the local authorities, supported by local level technical inputs and Health Ministry guidelines, the MHA guidelines mentioned.
Within the containment zones, the norms said, the strict perimeter would be maintained as earlier and only essential activities would be allowed.
Limited activities would still be prohibited throughout the country but "all other activities would be permitted except those that are specifically prohibited under the MHA guidelines".
In view the aforementioned points, the MHA has reiterated to the states and UTs that despite widespread relaxations given in the lockdown restrictions under revised guidelines, they "cannot dilute the restrictions imposed under the MHA guidelines".
They may prohibit "certain other activities or impose restrictions, as deemed necessary on the basis of the ground-level analysis of the situation", the order said.
Further, it's been communicated that states and UTs must take into consideration the benchmarks and thresholds indicated under the revised guidelines issued by the MoHFW while delineating zones at the local level.
"It has also been urged to offer wide publicity to the Centre and respective state guidelines at the local level for the convenience of the general public," the order issued by the Home Secretary reads.
The lockdown since March 25, which entered its 55th day on Monday, has battered the economy and dealt a severe blow to daily wagers and therefore the poor, posing a significant challenge for the Narendra Modi-led Central government.
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The new nationwide lockdown guidelines got an extension for the third time on Sunday, which was first imposed from March 25 then extended from April 15 and May 4.