Lockdown 3.0: India enters Third Phase of Nationwide Shutdown
India will enter the third phase of nationwide lockdown on 4 May 2020. Surprising the public, due to lack of any appearance of PM Modi for the announcement, government of India initiated lockdown 3.0. The country, on the other hand, continues to brave due to closure of business and day to day activities. While more than 1,200 people have lost their lives to deadly Coronavirus infection, many others have lost their livelihood, savings, and if one is to believe social media, their sanity, to the pandemic.
India seems prepared and has fastened its seat belt as it fights the economic impact of COVID-19. The next 14 days of lockdown 3.0 will be crucial in determining how future working policies could be made and where the government needs to work and focus more.
Lockdown 3.0, unlike previous shutdowns, is more liberal. Districts across country have been separated into three different categories based on their colour code. These colour codes are assigned to the district based on total number of confirmed Coronavirus cases there.
The system has been adopted to make full use of resources and provide employment to people in places where no COVID-19 case has been discovered while giving some breathing relief to Coronavirus hotspots
Which colours are districts being marked into?
- Red- For Coronavirus hotspot district
- Orange- For districts with a fewer number of Coronavirus cases
- Green- For districts with zero Coronavirus cases
What exemptions will be given under lockdown 3.0?
As the country enters into a new phase, a series of exemptions have been released for citizens and business across the country. These exemptions shall be based on the colour code of zones and might cease if a COVID-19 case is detected in a nearby area thus making it a containment zone.
Exemptions for Red Zone
- Movement of individuals/vehicles for permitted activities (Two persons besides the driver for four-wheelers and no pillion riding for two-wheelers).
- Special economic zones (SEZ), export-oriented units, industrial estates/townships and industries with pharmacy or essential goods production have been permitted to resume operations in red zones.
- Construction activities in rural areas that fall in red zones have been permitted only to in-situ construction where the workers do not have to leave the site daily, their staying and working arrangement is on-site.
- All standalone shops (both in urban and rural areas) and shops in residential complexes irrespective of their business type have been allowed to reopen.
- E-commerce activities shall be limited to supply essential goods in red zones.
- Private offices in red zones will be allowed to operate with 33 percent of their total strength.
- All industrial and construction activities in rural areas like brick making and MNREGA that fall in red zones have been allowed.
- Banks, NBFCs, insurance, and capital market activities are allowed to function in red zones.
- Government offices shall function with 33 percent of staff as per requirement.
- Apart from courier/postal services, public utility offices (including internet) have been allowed to remain open.
Mumbai, Pune, Indore, Ahmedabad, and Jaipur are major red zones in the country. More than a thousand positive Coronavirus cases have been reported in these cities. Mumbai, the financial capital of India, has reported more than 7,800 cases and there are clusters of infection around the city. In such cases, many containment zones have been identified by authorities to contain virus spread. The city will get fewer relaxations compared to other parts of India.
Exemptions for Orange Zone
- Taxi services such as Uber and Ola will be allowed with 1 Driver and 2 Passengers.
- Private vehicles allowed but with only 1 Driver and 2 Passengers.
- Non-essential goods delivery from e-commerce platforms.
- Two Wheelers allowed with 1 pillion.
Every exemption given in Red zones shall also apply for Orange zones.
Amritsar, Jaisalmer, Ghaziabad, Gurugram, and Udaipur are some major cities that have managed to stay in Orange zone because of a fewer number of infections and their control over the pandemic. Such cities can also move to the Red or Green zone depending on their next 14-day performance.
Exemptions for Green Zone
- Buses can operate with 50% capacity.
All other exemptions from Red zones and Orange zones shall apply in Green zones.
Cuttack, Puri, Bilaspur, and Shimla are among the few major districts that have displayed their strong control over virus spread and thus have been assigned the Green zone. People will be allowed to do normal activities in these districts with Coronavirus precautions and an exceptional ban on some activities like gatherings, school or college classes, and religious activities involving groups.
As India steps up its response to mitigate financial effects of Coronavirus pandemic, it should also be noted that all exemptions will cease once an area is termed as a containment zone where no movement is allowed. People have been advised to take precautionary measures and many state governments have made wearing masks mandatory as a part of their COVID-19 safety standards. Ultimately, people in India will now decide their fate with the response in these 14 days of lockdown 3.0.