(Daily News Scan - DNS English) What Happens During Lockdown?

(Daily News Scan - DNS English) What Happens During Lockdown?

Followed by the Janta curfew on 22nd of March, most of the states of the country from 23rd march have implemented lockdown due to the massive spread of corona virus. This lockdown will continue till 31st march 2020.

In this DNS we will know about lockdown, what all facilities / services will be available.

After the Janta curfew on Sunday 22nd of March, most of the states of the country took the Centre’s advice to enforce a full lockdown in its districts to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The orders to lockdown the states are under the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897. States forbid the gathering of more than five people at a place. The borders of the states have been sealed forbidding public transport. People who come out to provide or avail essential services shall be allowed on their self-declaration. Any congregation of more than five persons is strictly prohibited and punishable. People are required to stay at home and come out only for basic services while strictly following social distancing guidelines issued earlier.

All employees of private establishments required to stay at home in view of this order shall be treated as “on duty” and be paid in full. If any violations of the orders are found strict actions shall be prosecuted under relevant sections of the IPC.

The facilities/ services/ establishments that will be available during this lockdown period are-

Officers charged with law and order and magisterial duties

Police, Health, Fire, Prisons, Fair Price Shops (Public Distribution Systems), Electricity, Water, Municipal Services, Activities related to functioning of Legislative Assembly of Delhi, Pay and Accounts Office (only for salary/wages/contingent/health and essential services related expenditure), Print and electronic media, Cashier/Taylor operations of banks (including ATMs), Telecom, internet and postal services, E-commerce of all essential goods including food, pharmaceutical and medical equipment’s, food items, groceries (fruits/vegetables/milk/bakery items, meat, fish etc.)

Milk plants, General provision stores, Take away/home delivery in restaurants

Chemists and pharmacies

Petrol pumps, LPG/oil agencies (including their go down and transportation-related activities), Animal fodder

Manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, storage, trade/commerce and logistics related to all above services/establishments and commodities required for delivery of these above services

Let us know about the Epidemic Disease Act of 1897.

The regulations under the Epidemic Disease Act of 1897 have been rolled out due the excess increase of corona virus cases in the country including death of seven people.

The Epidemic Diseases Act is routinely enforced across the country for dealing with outbreaks of diseases such as swine flu, dengue, and cholera.

This Act was introduced by the colonial government to tackle the epidemic of bubonic plague that had spread in the erstwhile Bombay Presidency in the 1890s. Using powers within this Act, colonies authorities would search suspected plague cases in homes and among passengers, with forcible segregations, evacuations, and demolitions of infected places. In 1897, the law was enforced.

It is a one page Act consisting of four sections. It aims to provide “for the better prevention of the spread of Dangerous Epidemic Diseases”. Section 2 empowers state governments/UTs to take special measures and formulate regulations for containing the outbreak. Section 3 provides penalties for disobeying any regulation or order made under the Act. These are according to Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant). Section 4 gives legal protection to the implementing officers acting under the Act.

This Act has been implemented in various states of the country to deal with different diseases, some of them are:

  • In 2018, in Gujarat’s Vadodara a notification was issued under the Act declaring a village area as cholera-affected, after 31 persons complained of symptoms of the disease.
  • In 2015, to deal with malaria and dengue in Chandigarh, the Act was implemented and controlling officers were instructed to ensure the issuance of notices and challans of Rs 500 to offenders.
  • In 2009, to tackle swine flu outbreak in Pune, Section 2 powers were used to open screening centres in civic hospitals across the city, and swine flu was declared a notifiable disease.
  • In case of any doubt, or any clarification the state government shall issue necessary directions/clarifications.

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