HYDERABAD: The State government has decided to be tough in enforcing lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar on Monday said the complete lockdown would be enforced from 7 pm to 6 am from March 23 till March 31. During this time, even essential services will be closed. Only during the day, people will be allowed to come out to buy groceries and vegetables in their localities. However, police will allow transportation of patients to hospitals in emergencies.
Somesh Kumar and Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy said the lockdown will be enforced strictly in the interest of the people and asked people to extend their support. No vehicles will be allowed to travel long distance, except for medical and other emergencies.
The CS said that individuals are required to observe home quarantine failing which they will be liable for penal action and shifted to government quarantine centres. All shops, commercial establishments, offices and factories, workshops, godowns and others should close their operations.
While petrol bunks, super markets, banks will be open, commercial establishments and public transport have been shut completely. He directed the district collectors to be cautious and implement instructions issued by the government.
Somesh Kumar said it was brought to the notice of officials that autos and taxis were freely operating while people were reportedly violating the lockdown.
The CS said congregation of more than five persons in public places is not allowed. “The government is committed to implement the lockdown. It will be strictly enforced under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 and the Disaster Management Act of 2005, the orders will be in force till March 31,’’ he said and added the government is sealing State borders.
“No autos or cabs will be allowed to ply and if they do, they will be seized,” said Mahender Reddy. At least 948 autos were seized on Monday. The DGP added, “instructions have been issued to all police personnel to implement these orders strictly, and the seized vehicles will be handed over to the owners only after lockdown period is over.’’
For two wheelers, no pillion riders will be allowed and for four wheelers, driver and single passenger will be allowed only to purchase essential commodities.
Govt offices running with 20 per cent staff
Only 20 per cent of staff in government offices including Secretariat are functioning from Monday. However, staff for emergency services such as health, municipal and others, had full attendance.
Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar issued a circular saying secretaries/head of offices shall ensure that 20 per cent of ministerial and last grade employees attend office on rotation basis. However, relaxation in attendance does not apply to officers.
In an other circular, the CS asked district officials to put check posts to restrict vehicular movement. The R&B department is directed to take up barricading on requisition from Collector/Commissioner of Police/Superintendent of Police