Removing the earlier Red-Orange Zone rules, the States are now empowered to designate Containment and Buffer Zones depending upon the veracity of a COVID-19 pandemic in a particular area.
Amid increasing chaos and confusion around conducting the final year examinations for college and university students, the Maharashtra Students' Union (MASU) has written a letter to CM Uddhav Thackeray and Higher and Technical Education Minister of state Uday Samant demanding cancellation of the exams.
In containment zones, strict control shall be maintained and no movement of persons allowed, except for medical emergencies and maintaining supply of essential goods and services.
Taking a cue from the disaster that happened in the southern town of Vishakhapatnam, or Vizag, days ago in which at least 11 people died after "styrene" gas leaked from a chemical plant that remained shut for over 40 days, the MHA issued guidelines ensuring safe restart of plants having hazardous materials. The centre also said that the steps should be taken by the states after taking into consideration of parameters outlined by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. However, the guidelines made it clear that bus services will be allowed with mutual consent of states and union territories involved.
-Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for movement of persons will continue. Passenger train services no longer figure in the list of prohibited activities, and have already started on a limited scale. Inter-state and intra-state movement of buses and passenger vehicles is permitted across all zones, except containment areas.
Srinivas Mothey, Senior Vice President of Paytm Mall, said the move will help the company deliver to most of the metro cities which were in the red zones.
Sales of non-essential items on e-commerce platforms in the first week of May were lower than previous year on account of the lockdown, but orders were scaling fast as people bought apparel, smartphones and grooming products among other items. The entire workplace needs to be frequently sanitised, and common facilities and touch points must be sanitised, including in between shifts.
Within the containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. In workplaces, social distancing would also need to be ensured through the adequate distancing between workers, adequate gaps between shifts, staggering the lunch break of staff, and so on.
District authorities have been asked to advise individuals to install the Aarogya Setu application on compatible mobile phones and regularly update their health status on the app. Delhi government, for one, has proposed that shops in market places follow the odd-even formula. However, some industry players say they are waiting for states' decision on the matter.
All cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places. The zones can be a district, or a municipal corporation/ municipality or even smaller administrative units such as sub-divisions, etc, as decided by States and UTs.
Marketplace players such as Paytm Mall and Snapdeal saw a sharp rise in orders, especially in red zones, as many ordered goods after waiting for almost two months. All shops shall also have to ensure six feet distance between customers and not allow more than five persons at one time. "This will facilitate timely provision of medical attention to those individuals who are at risk", the home ministry said.