“Every state, every Union Territory, every district, every village and every locality is being put under lockdown,” he announced in his second address to the nation since the outbreak of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
With folded hands Modi appealed to Indians to stay at home in order to prevent the infection from spreading further. There is an invisible ‘Lakshmanrekha’ at everybody’s door, he said.
“Step outside the ‘Lakshman rekha’ of your house in the next 21 days and you will set the country back by 21 years,” he said, adding that repeated studies and recent data by experts have proved social distancing is the only answer to breaking the cycle of the infection.
The lockdown will be like a “curfew” only but more stringent than the ‘janata curfew’, which the country had observed on Sunday, he said, adding it will have an economic cost but saving people’s lives is of the paramount interest to his government.
Assuring citizens that the supply of essential goods will not discontinue or be affected, Modi said the government is taking all steps to ensure a continuous supply.
Here is what it means, according to guidelines put out by the government:
What is shut:
All transport, flights, trains, roadways
All government offices with exceptions
Commercial and private establishments
All places of worship, religious congregations
All social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions
Banks, insurance offices, and ATMs
Essential services like sanitation, water supply, power
Hospitals and all related medical establishments, including manufacturing and distribution units, both in public and private sector, such as dispensaries, chemists, labs, clinics, nursing homes, ambulance
Transport for all medical personnel, nurses, paramedical staff, other hospital support
Shops, including ration shops (under PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder
Home delivery of food, medicines, medical equipment
Print and electronic media
Telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services and IT-enabled services (for essential services)
Petrol pumps, LPG, petroleum and gas retail, storage outlets
Power generation, transmission and distribution units and services
Capital and debt market services as notified by SEBI
Cold storage and warehousing services
Private security services
Manufacturing units of essential commodities.
Production units, which require continuous process, after obtaining required permission from state government
Transport of essential goods, fire, law and order and emergency services
Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels accommodating tourists and those stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew, establishments used for quarantine.
In funerals, not more than 20 persons will be permitted.
Defence, central armed police forces, treasury
Public utilities like petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG
Disaster management, post offices, police, home guards, fire and emergency services, prisons.
All persons who have arrived in India after February 15 and all directed quarantine will stay home or face action that could mean up to six months in jail
Punishment for obstruction of duty: One to two years in jail or fine
Punishment for false claim: Up to two years in jail and fine
Punishment for false alarm: Up to one year in jail or with fine