Shops selling books, electric fans, prepaid phone recharge allowed during lockdown : MHA


The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday allowed opening of shops selling school books and electric fans, services of bedside attendants of senior citizens and public utilities, including recharge facilities for prepaid mobile phones during the ongoing lockdown.

The Home Ministry also said bread factories and flour mills located in urban areas can restart operations during the ongoing lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In separate orders, the Home Ministry said the decision has been taken after receiving some queries with regard to exemptions of specific services and activities allowed through the guidelines issued so far.

Shops of educational books for students, shops of electric fans will be allowed to open during the lockdown, which is scheduled to end on May 3.

Bedside attendants and care givers of senior citizens residing in their homes and public utilities, including recharge facilities for prepaid mobile connection, will be allowed to offer services, the ministry said in its order.

In the agricultural sector, the relaxation has been extended to facilities for export or import such as pack houses, inspection and treatment facilities for seeds and horticulture produce. It also includes relaxation to research establishments dealing with the agriculture and horticulture activities and the inter- and intra-state movement of planting materials and honey bee colonies, honey and other beehive products.

The Union Home Ministry also ordered Standard Operating Procedure for the sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers (crew members) at Indian ports and their movement. According to the SOP laid down for sign-in of an Indian crew member, the ministry said that the seafarer will have to intimate their travel and contact history for the last 28 days to the shipowner or the recruitment and placement service.

The same can be done through email, as per procedure laid down by the Director-General of Shipping.

“The crew member however will be tested for COVID-19 before boarding the ship and will be allowed to sign-in only if he is tested negative,” the ministry said.

“For sign-off purposes, the Indian seafarer arriving on the vessel would undergo the COVID-19 test for confirmation that he/she is negative for COVID-19,” it added. The crew member will be kept in a quarantine centre until the report arrives.(IANS)


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