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On 24 March 2020, the Prime Minister ordered all 1.3 billion people in the country to stay at their homes for three weeks to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which has taken the lives of 24,096 people since its advent in December 2019 in Wuhan.
"There will be a total ban of coming out of your homes. Every state, every district, every lane, every village will be under lockdown," said the PM on Tuesday night, giving the citizens less than four hours' notice before the order took effect at 12:01 a.m.
Since then, the country has gone into a total lockdown with the necessities being available and thousands of people working from home.
"If you can't handle these 21 days, this country and your family will go back 21 years. The only option is social distancing, to remain away from each other. There is no way out to escape from coronavirus besides this," the PM added.
With gatherings of people banned and roads and rails suspended, the country is on the 3rd day of the coronavirus lockdown. As the lockdown continues, here is a list of some frequently asked questions regarding the covid-19 lockdown that may be helpful for you.
Covid-19 Lockdown: What You Need To Know
Are public transports available?
A. No. Public transport including buses, auto-rickshaws and taxis are permitted. Movement of inter-state buses/trains/metro is also suspended.
Can I book Ola/Uber?
A. No, most states have a ban on public transport, including taxis. Some states allow taxis to go to hospitals and airports.
Will private cars/two-wheelers be allowed?
A. Yes. But for those who are travelling for essential purposes. You may be stopped by the police and questioned.
Will my maid or driver be able to come?
A. Yes, but it is advised not to do that and stick to essential services. Your maids and staffs are humans too, let them stay safe at their homes. Be empathetic during a time like this.
Will I be able to buy petrol?
A. Yes, petrol pumps, LPG, oil agencies will continue to operate.
Can I use air transport? What if I have a booked ticket?
A. All domestic and international flights are suspended until further notice.
What about places of worship? Will they be open?
A. No. All religious places will be closed.
Can I go to a hospital?
A. Yes, hospitals will remain open. However, if you can call your doctor and talk to them over the phone and avoid getting out, chose that way.
Will medical stores be open?
A. Yes. Chemist shops and pharmacies will be open.
Can I order food for delivery?
A. Yes. But make sure you order only the essentials. Food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, food items, groceries, milk store, general provision stores, take away/home delivery in restaurants will be open.
Will ATMs be open?
Can I go out in a group?
A. No. Any gathering of more than five people is strictly prohibited and punishable by law.
Can I walk my dog?
A. Yes. But avoid groups and limit the walking within close proximities of your house and avoid staying out for too long.
Will local stores open?
A. All shops, including factories, workshops, offices, godowns, street shops etc. will be closed.
What are the services and establishments excluded from this order?
A. Law and order and magisterial duties, police, health, fire, prisons, fair price shops, electricity, water, municipal services, activities related to the functioning of the legislative assembly, pay and accounts office will continue functioning.
Covid-19 Lockdown Dos And Dont’s
- Sanitise and disinfect yourself once you come back from outside. From your shoes to the phone or the bag you carry, everything should be sanitised.
- Take a shower if you had gone out (for some emergency, of course).
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Clean and disinfect your phone or any such thing you could have taken outside and brought in, even the food bowls that contain your food delivery.
- If you are having takeaway food, transfer the food onto other clean, safe utensils and then eat.
- Eat fruits and vegetables that can help improve your immune system.
- Take a walk within your house and take breaks between work/study.
Covid-19 Lockdown Dos And Dont’s
- Avoid going out as you would normally do, even if it is for some grocery shopping.
- Do not eat directly from the food bowls you had ordered in.
- Do not panic - remember, you are not alone in this.
- Avoid visiting elderlies.
- Don't just sit on your couch or sleep the whole day.
- Avoid binge drinking.