April 20, 2020
Alert: India Coronavirus Update
The Central Government has constituted six inter-ministerial teams to make assessment of the pandemic and help state efforts to fight and contain spread of COVID-19. The inter-ministerial teams are for West Bengal and Maharashtra and one each for Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to make assessments on the compliance and implementation of lockdown measures; supply of essential commodities, social distancing, and preparedness of the health infrastructure. The notice can be found here.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has put out a clarification stating that the sale of non-essential goods by e-commerce companies shall remain prohibited during the lockdown. However, e-commerce companies will continue to operate for essential goods as had been allowed earlier. See notification here.
TRAVEL: It has been decided to extend the period of providing the following consular services to foreign nationals, presently stranded in India: Regular visa, e-visa or stay stipulation, of foreign nationals who have been stranded in India because of spread of COVID-19 and whose visas have expired or would be expiring during the period from February 1 to May 3, would be extended until midnight of 03.05.2020 on 'Gratis' basis, after making online application by the foreigner. See notification here.
UPDATES FROM STATES:
Several States have announced partial relaxation for essential activities like construction, courier services etc. But these activities are not applicable to containment zones.
States that will continue lockdown without any relaxation:
Delhi : On Sunday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that there will be no relaxation in the lockdown as the number of cases continues to rise in the State. CM also added that the state government will review its decision on April 27th, 2020. See press release here and official tweet here.
Telangana: The cabinet on 19th April, 2020 has decided to extend the lockdown in the state till May 7th, 2020. The state has also decided not to given any relaxation during this period. Additionally, restaurant e-commerce players like Zomato and Swiggy are also not allowed to operate during this period.
Punjab: The Punjab government also decided to strictly adhere to lockdown till May 3 without giving any relaxation.
States that have announced ease in lockdown:
Maharashtra: The state government has issued guidelines for limited relaxation of restrictions from April 20 till May 3 for industrial and commercial activities. These relaxations are not applicable to containment zones and are subject to safety precautionary measures. See press release here.
Kerala: All 14 districts in Kerala will be divided into four zones for implementing the lockdown curbs Green, Orange A, Orange B, and Red. The government has also decided to use the 'odd & even' formula for vehicular movement with exemptions for vehicles driven by women. See press release here.
Karnataka: The Karnataka government has announced partial relaxation from April 21 for traffic movements which will include two-wheelers. Construction activities will also be allowed except in red zones.
Haryana: The state has decided to resume economic activities in a phased manner. Few industries that do not come under the containment zones will be allowed to operate. Establishments will have to procure a pass from the government portal SARAL to operate. See press release here.
Andhra Pradesh: The Andhra Pradesh government has issued guidelines for the operation of certain industries, both government and private, involved in manufacture of 25 essential items duly following health guidelines and social distancing norms. See press release here.
Non-Government Stakeholders in Action
- Emerson has shifted manufacturing capacity in a key facility to accelerate production of printed circuit boards for ultrasonic welding equipment critical to manufacturing N95 face masks that protect healthcare workers. See Emerson's response to COVID-19 here.
- Learning science company McGraw-Hill is supporting faculty, teachers and students as they transition to online delivery of courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and support, click here
- Uber Provides UberMedic Service To Assist Healthcare Providers in India. See press release here.
- AWS is working with EdTech companies to provide infrastructure for education ministries, colleges, and schools in India and around the world to quickly deploy remote-learning platforms. Read about the efforts here.
- HLL Lifecare Ltd., a Government of India enterprise, has floated a global tender for procurement of medical supplies related to COVID-19. The link for the tender is here.