Shimla :Fearing the spread of the Coronavirus the Himachal Pradesh government today notified a lockdown across the hill state with immediate effect till further orders.
A spokesman of the governmeng said all interstate and intrastate movement of public and private stage and contract carriages including taxies, autorickshaws has been prohibited.
There would be total prohibition on movement or plying of trains and commercial aircrafts. Private vehicles will be plied only if essentially required for visiting hospitals and for availing or maintenance of essential services. Goods carriage vehicles would however be allowed to ply, in respect of the services provided for in Clause2 of the order.
All shops, commercial establishments, factories , workshops, godowns would close their operations except for shops or stores selling groceries, milk, bread, fruit, vegetable, meat, fish and other uncooked food items and their transportation related activities and warehousing.
Also hospitals, chemist stores, optical stores, pharmaceuticals and soap manufacturing units and their ancillaries together with transportation related activities would remain operational.
Besides, petrol pumps, LPG gas, oil agencies, their godowns and their transportation related activities would also be operational. E-commerce (delivery) of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipments would also be operational.
The spokesman said production and manufacturing units, which require continuous process, may continue to function, after obtaining required permission from the Deputy Commissioner and following all precautionary protocols, as notified by Health Department.
He said that units manufacturing alcohol for medicine,sanitisers would be operational, subject to all precautionary protocols as notified by Health Department . The Deputy Commissioner’s decision will be final with regard to manufacturing units engaged in production of essential commodities.
Strict home quarantine would be observed by all foreign returnees, who landed in India on or after 9th March, 2020. All such foreign returnees would mandatorily notify the district Survillence Officer of the concerned district and 104 toll free number and register themselves for home quarantine, failing which they would be liable for legal action.
The spokesperson said that people are required to stay at home and come out only for basic purposes, like visit to grocery, vegetable shops, chemists, etc and for essential and permitted work related travel only and that too while strictly following social distancing guidelines issued from time to time.
Under no circumstances,social,cultural,sports,political,religious,academic,family mass gatherings or gathering of any kind and purpose would be permitted at any place.
All the establishments which are allowed to be kept open, would also ensure social distancing within and outside their premises. He said that functioning of all the government offices would be regulated under notification issued on 21st March, 2020, except for offices charged with law and order, magisterial duties, police, armed forces, central para-military forces, health, treasury, urban local bodies, rural development, fire, electricity, water, municipal services, bank/ ATM, print/electronic/ social media, telecom, internet services including IT and ITeS, postal services, supply chain and related transportation and any other service which the DC of the concerned district deems to be essential.
Incase of any doubt as to whether a service establishment is essential or not, the DC would be competent authority to decide. The staff working of the mentioned departments would not proceed on leave and the already sanctioned leave is ordered to be cancelled, with immediate effect, except for maternity leave. He said that the leaves on medical ground would be admissible only if certified by the District Medical Board.