NEW DELHI, April 14 (IANS): As Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday extended by 19 days the nationwide lockdown till May 3, the Home Ministry issued directions to all states, Union Territories as well as Central Ministries and departments to strictly implement the existing lockdown guidelines without any dilution.
As per the directions issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, the "restrictions that have been imposed will continue to remain in force".
Issued to the Chief Secretaries of all states and UTs, the restriction mentions that the consolidated guidelines earlier issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs "cannot dilute restrictions imposed" under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The Prime Minister in his address to the nation on Tuesday morning announced that the lockdown measures imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in India would be extended till May 3.
"In pursuance of this announcement, Government of India has issued directions to all the Ministries/Departments of Government of India, State/Union Territory Governments and Authorities, that the lockdown measures stipulated in the Consolidated Guidelines of MHA, for containment of COVID-19 pandemic in the country, will continue to remain in force up to May 3, 2020," the communication to the states and UTs said.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on March 24 directed all the Central ministries and departments, states and UTs to take measures for ensuring social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country during the first phase of 21-day lockdown which is ending on today (Tuesday) midnight.
The NDMA again issued the similar directions to continue the same measures for social distancing up to May 3. "In this regard, the guidelines issued by the NEC shall continue to be applicable throughout the country. The authority further directs NEC to issue modifications in the guidelines as necessary, keeping in view the need to contain the spread of COVID-19."