Amid the menace of Coronavirus that has brought the world to a standstill, India has now gone into a 21-day complete lockdown mode with all state borders closed and a curfew like situation across all cities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for social distancing as the only method to break the cycle of Coronavirus spread. While people are inside their homes and a lockdown is in place, there are many questions that arise in the minds of people.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions.
What is a lockdown?
A lockdown is an emergency protocol that prevents people from leaving a given area. A full lockdown will mean you must stay where you are and not exit that place.
At the moment, India is under a complete lockdown and this means that no one is allowed to move freely on the roads or in public places other than for essential services, that includes essential supplies, grocery stores, pharmacies and banks. All non-essential activities remain shut for the entire period.
Flights, rail, intercity bus services have been suspended throughout the country.
What are essential activities?
Essential services include groceries and medical supplies & facilities.
Shops: Ration shops dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder.
Financial services: Banks, insurance offices and ATMs.
Media: Print and electronic media
Communications: Telecommunications, internet services, broadcasting and cable services.
Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment through e-commerce
Petrol pumps, LPG and petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets
Power generation, transmission and distribution units and services
Capital and debt market services as notified by SEBI
Cold storage and warehousing services and private security services.
What happens if one breaks the rules?
Anyone breaking the rules, could be punished with simple imprisonment for a term that may extend up to one month or with a fine which may extend to Rs 200, or with both, as per section 188 of IPC.
Can a person go to work?
During the lockdown period, all private companies and non-essential sectors have been asked to let their employees operate from home. The central and several state governments have announced relief packages for daily-wage earners and other temporary workers.
What if a person has an emergency?
Emergency services, like hospitals and pharmacies, will continue to operate as usual. Citizens are, however, requested to avail the facilities only if it’s an emergency.
Is there a need to stock up on essential items?
All essential services will be open. Grocery stores, milk booths etc will be open. Citizens are requested not to hoard as it creates scarcity of goods in the market.
Will isolation help prevent against coronavirus completely?
Yes. If you and your family have not been exposed to the virus, isolation will keep you stay protected. However, if you have been exposed and have been recommended self-quarantine by a medical doctor, please practice and follow the guidelines properly. This will help you recover as also prevent the virus from spreading.
As India battles the war against Coronavirus, it is essential that we do not listen to fake news from non verified sources. Social distancing and following the guidelines listed by the government is the only way to combat this adverse situation.