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National Lockdown Starts To Contain Coronavirus: Here is the List of Dos and Don'ts

A monkey crosses the road near India's Presidential Palace during a 14-hour long curfew to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, New Delhi. (Reuters)

A monkey crosses the road near India's Presidential Palace during a 14-hour long curfew to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country, New Delhi. (Reuters)

While most things will be suspended, essential services will continue to function during the three-week lockdown.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation on Tuesday imposed a nationwide lockdown starting midnight. This time the curfew will be stricter than before, when individual states had imposed restrictions.

This is the the biggest and most severe action undertaken anywhere to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Sources in the government said immediate FIRs will be issued against those found flouting the rules.

As of Wednesday morning, all nonessential public buildings and places are closed and all social events have been stopped. In a televised address, the PM said "there will be a total ban of coming out of your homes,” giving just four hours before the order took effect.

But citizens need not panic. Here is the list of services that you can avail and things that you cannot do.

Will any kind of public transport ply?

No public transport, including operation of private buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws, and e-rickshaws, among others will be permitted. Only DTC buses will operate at not more than 25% capacity to cater to personnel engaged in essential services. Movement of inter-state buses/trains/metro (DMRC) will be suspended.

Can I book Ola/Uber?

No, most states have a ban on public transport, including taxis. Some states allow taxis to allow to go to hospitals and airports.

Will private cars and two-wheelers be allowed?

Yes, but only for those travelling for essential purposes. You may be stopped at airports and questioned.

What if there is a funeral?

Congregations of not more than 20 people will be permitted.

What if I am currently staying in a hotel?

Hotels, homestays, lodges and motels, which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to the lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew will continue to run as is.

Will local stores operate?

All shops, commercial establishments, factories, workshops, offices, godowns, weekly bazaars, etc, will close their operations.

Will my maid or driver be able to come?

Yes, but it is advisable to stick to essential services. They may be questioned at check.

Will I be able to buy petrol?

Yes, petrol pumps, LPG/oil agencies will continue to operate.

What if I have flight tickets?

All domestic and international flights during this period shall be suspended.

What about places of worship?

All religious places of any denomination will be closed.

Can I go to a hospital?

Yes, hospitals and medical stores will remain open.

What if I need medicines?

Chemist shops and pharmacies will be open.

Can I order items for delivery?

Yes, e-commerce of all essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipments, food items, groceries, milk plants, general provision stores, take away/home delivery in restaurants will be open.

Can journalists go out to report?

Yes, print and electronic media journalists can.

Will I able to withdraw money?

Yes, cashier/teller operations of banks (including ATMs) will be open. However, individuals need a self-declaration to venture out.

Will internet and couriers be suspended?

No, telecom, internet and postal services will continue to operate.

Can I go out in a group?

No. Any congregation of more than five people is strictly prohibited and punishable by law.

What are the services and establishments excluded from this order?

Offices charged with law and order and magisterial duties, police, health, fire, prisons, fair price shops, electricity, water, municipal services, activities related to functioning of legislative assembly, pay and accounts office.

What happens if I have animals?

Animal fodder, manufacturing, processing, transportation, distribution, storage, trade/commerce and logistics, related to all the above services/establishments and commodities required for delivery of these above services will continue.