In a statement, the central government of India has clearly stated that the states and union territories cannot “dilute” the center guidelines on the nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus. The states will not be allowed to impose their own activities during this lockdown but they can be stricter if they want.
The Union Home secretary wrote to states and union territories that only the centre permitted activities will be allowed from today in parts of the country that are least affected by coronavirus. The move comes after some states made their own list of essential activities and declared some ease on COVID-19 lockdown restrictions from today.
“Government of Kerala has allowed opening of activities, prohibited under Consolidated Revised Guidelines on Lockdown 2 measures, issued by MHA on 15.04.2020 to fight COVID-19,” Home ministry said in a tweet.
“This amounts to dilution of guidelines issued by MHA and violation of MHA Order dated 15th April 2020 issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005,” it added. The MHA has urged the Government of Kerala to revise guidelines in line with MHA guidelines, without any dilution and ensure strict compliance of lockdown measures.
The letter reads, “It has come to notice that some of the states/UTs are issuing orders allowing activities which have not been allowed (by the centre’s guidelines).”
“I would again urge you to ensure compliance of the revised consolidated guidelines, and direct all concerned authorities for their strict implementation in letter and spirit without any dilution and to ensure strict compliance of lockdown,” the Home Ministry wrote.
Kearala declared the lockdown in two zones and allowed private vehicles’ movement from today. The government of Kerala has also allowed the opening of local workshops, barbershops, restaurants, intercity buses, book stores etc. Dine-in services at hotels and restaurants are allowed until 7 pm. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Kerala has reported 402 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3 deaths.