DEHRADUN: Uttarakhand state government on Sunday announced lockdown till March 31. Chief Minister announced to observe the curfew till March 31. However, essential services will be available.
"After the nationwide Janta Curfew that was observed today against COVID-19 outbreak, we have decided to continue the curfew till March 31. We will make sure the availability of essential services such as food, medicines for all, " said Trivendra Singh Rawat, the CM of the state.
The order dated March 22, 2020, by state health department stated, "Whereas, now under the aforesaid regulations (Uttarakhand Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020), the government of Uttarakhand hereby notifies a lockdown of non-essential services in the State of Uttarakhand from 2100 hours on 22nd March 2359 hours on 31st March stipulating the following restrictions."
The list of restrictions includes public transportation of all kind, all commercial establishments including shops, prohibition on the gathering of more than five people along with many other restrictions.
The district magistrate has been nominated as a competent authority to decide whether any establishment comes under essential services or non-essential ones.
Essential services categories under the notification which have been listed include food, medical supplies, power, water, banks, ATM, print, electronic and social media, petrol pumps, LPG, production and manufacturing units of essential items, e-commerce platforms of essential items such as food, medical, postal services, fire, municipal services and local urban bodies.
The notification also added that any violations of the said regulations will be punishable under section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) of Indian Penal Code.
The announcement came after the central government 'advised' the states to continue the curfew in all 75 districts of the country where the fatal infection was reported.
The state government officials said that the step has been taken to ensure the safety of people and prevent the fatal outbreak any further.
"We have been successful in checking the spread so far in the state but we should be more cautious and take every step. Our health services will be available 24x7 for people of the state. We have essential resources and staff to deal with the situation," said Amita Upreti, director-general, state health department.
The move was welcomed with a cautious note. Anoop Nautiyal, an eminent citizen who is actively involved in horses of initiatives said, "The lockdown is much needed but the government, the service providers, traders and business people should ensure that essential services do not get blocked. Especially, for the underprivileged."
Earlier, the state government postponed board examinations of Class 10 and 12 as a precautionary move to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state.
On Friday, the state banned travels of domestic as well as foreign tourists to the state amidst and banned all mining operations.
With over 1.25 Crore population in 13 districts, citizens have been advised to stay indoors and step out for essential services and emergencies only.