New Delhi, May 18 : A day after the fresh guidelines were issued by the Union Home Ministry, the Centre on Monday directed the state and Union Territories (UTs) not to dilute the MHA guidelines but allowed them to impose stricter prohibitions if needed. The Centre has extended lockdown up to May 31 and issued new norms for lockdown 4.0. In a letter written to all Chief Secretaries on Monday, the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that the states or UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain other activities or impose restrictions as deemed necessary.
“I would urge you to ensure compliance of the new guidelines, and direct all concerned authorities for their strict implementation. Further guidelines issued by MHA and consequent Orders issued by the respective State Governments/ UT Administrations should be widely disseminated to the public and to the field functionaries for the convenience of people”, the MHA letter reads. Mr Bhalla also said that under the new guidelines effective from May 18 as the nation enters lockdown 4, the states and UTs would now categorise Red, Orange and Green zones taking into consideration the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on May 17. Under the new guidelines, now inside the Red/Orange zones, containment and buffer zones will be identified by the district administration or local urban bodies with technical inputs at local level and by taking into consideration the Union Health Ministry guidelines.
Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained, and no movement of persons would be allowed across the zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services. A limited number of activities will continue to remain prohibited throughout the country. In order to facilitate the movement of persons, various modes of transport have already been opened up as per SoPs issued by MHA. All other activities will be permitted except those which are specifically prohibited under these guidelines. However, in containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed as earlier. (UNI)