States and union territories cannot dilute restrictions despite widespread relaxations, the government said today, as India went into lockdown 4 to fight coronavirus.
The home ministry has asserted that states and union territories are allowed to ban other activities and impose more restrictions, if needed.
“As emphasized in my earlier letters, I would not like to reiterate again that States/Union Territories cannot dilute restrictions imposed in the home ministry guidelines. Based on their assessment of the situation, they may prohibit certain other activities in various zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary,” Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said in the letter.
“I would urge you to ensure compliance of the new guidelines, and direct all concerned authorities for their strict implementation,” Mr Bhalla wrote to states and union territories.
Under the new guidelines enforced from today, states will designate red, green and orange zones according to the virus spread. Within the red zones, or areas most affected by coronavirus, containment zones and buffer zones will be marked out by districts.
“Effective field action in these containment zones and buffer zones will be critical to contain the disease,” said the home ministry.
A containment operation would be considered a success when no case is reported in 28 days, the government said.
There will be entry and exit points in the containment zone and no movement will be allowed but for medical emergencies and essential goods and services.
A “sufficiently large” buffer zone also has to be marked to ensure that the infection does not spread outside the containment zone.
The government on Sunday extended the lockdown, in place since March 25 to slow the spread of the highly infections COVID-19, till May 31.