Mask-wearing, social distancing should be enforced strictly: MHA on lockdown

New Delhi,: The Indian home ministry on Thursday asserted that rules such as wearing face masks, practising social distancing and no gathering of five or more persons should be strictly enforced at public places in order to ensure that the lockdown clamped to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country is implemented effectively.

Addressing the daily media briefing, Joint Secretary in the ministry Punya Salila Srivastava said it should be ensured that five or more persons do not assemble at a public place.

Also, people should not spit at public places and workplaces, she said.

Elderly people, those who are not keeping well and those with young children should be encouraged to work from home and temperature screening as well as use of hand sanitisers should be made mandatory at workplaces, Srivastava said.

She added that the sale of liquor, gutkha and tobacco should be banned to ensure that the lockdown is implemented effectively.

The officer said that the home ministry on Wednesday had published comprehensive directives or guidelines to be followed for the second phase of national lockdown valid till May 3 and it had asked various states and union territories to get these implemented on ground.

The ministry also stressed on wide publicity of these measures among the general public, she said.

Under the ongoing lockdown, Srivastava said, airlines, railways and road transport will be banned.

Taxis, auto rickshaws, cycle rickshaws and cab aggregator service will also be prohibited along with all educational and related institutes, she said.

The officer said all public spaces like malls, sports complexes and all cultural and religious meetings will be prohibited from being held during this period.

Those places that are not hotspots and containment zones will be allowed to hold some select activities post April 20, provided all existing directives and social distancing norms are followed in those areas strictly.

“This is to ensure that agriculture and related activities are fully operational and rural economy works with more effectiveness…,” she said.

She said due action is being taken wherever the lockdown is being violated.

“The situation of supply of essential food items like wheat, rice, pulses and milk supply is satisfactory and their availability is being monitored continuously,” Srivastava said.

She added that the workers in private and public sector should be encouraged to use the Aarogya Setu app.

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