MHA: states can’t dilute lockdown 4.0 guidelines

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New Delhi: The Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) or the Home Ministry has said no state or Union territory will dilute the guidelines issued for the nationwide lockdown that will continue till May 31.

In a communication to the chief secretaries of the states and Union territories, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said the guidelines for the fourth phase of the lockdown were issued after taking the views of the states, following a videoconference held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with chief ministers on May 11.

The nationwide tally of COVID-19 cases, meanwhile, crossed one lakh on Monday. The death toll due to COVID-19 crossed the 3,000-mark too. In its morning 8 am update, the Union Health Ministry put the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at 96,169 and the death toll at 3,029. It also said that 36,824 people have so far recovered from

the infection.

However, a PTI tally of figures announced by different states and UTs as of 10.30 pm put the number of those having tested positive for the infection at 1,00,157, with a death toll of 3,078 and recoveries at 38,596 across the country.

“As emphasised in my earlier letters, I would like to reiterate again that states and Union territories cannot dilute restrictions imposed vide the aforesaid guidelines issued by MHA. States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain other activities in various zones or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary. I would urge you to ensure compliance of the new guidelines and direct all concerned authorities for their strict implementation,” Bhalla said in his letter to the

chief secretaries.

He said under the new guidelines effective from Monday, the states and Union territories will categorise ‘red’, ‘orange’ and ‘green’ zones taking into consideration the revised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Sunday.

Inside the ‘red’ and ‘orange’ zones, containment and buffer zones will be identified by the district administration and local urban bodies with technical inputs at the local level and by taking into consideration the health ministry guidelines.

Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and no movement of persons will be allowed across the zones except for medical emergencies and maintaining the supply of essential goods and services, the letter said. The home secretary said a limited number of activities will continue to remain prohibited throughout the country.

The ongoing nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus was extended till May 31 by the National Disaster Management Authority on Monday.

New guidelines on lockdown measures have been issued in supersession of the earlier lockdown orders, except the Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued on movement of persons.