The Centre on Friday made new additions to the list of activities to be permitted in “non hotspots” after April 20 during the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus. The government had released revised guidelines to be followed during the lockdown on April 15, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the extension till May 3.
In a letter to the states and Union Territories, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that non-banking financial institutions and micro finance corporations will be allowed to operate with minimum staff.
The government has also allowed the harvesting and processing of minor forest produce, non-timber forest produce by Scheduled Tribes and other forest dwellers. The packaging and sale of bamboo, coconut, arecanut cocoa, spices plantation will also be permitted during the lockdown.
Construction activities in rural areas including water supply and sanitation, laying and erection of power transmission lines and laying of telecom optical fibre and cable along with related activities have also been added to the list of activities permitted from April 20.
On Wednesday, the Centre had announced that industries in rural areas and all agricultural activities will be allowed to resume from April 20 but only outside Covid-19 hotspots. The government had said that all means of transport, educational institutions and public places will remain closed. Strict containment measures will stay in place in districts that have a high number of Covid-19 cases or have shown a fast growth rate of infections. Only essential services will be allowed in these zones and there will be strict restriction on movement.
The number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 13,387 on Friday morning, according to the Union health ministry. More than 400 people have died of Covid-19 in India. With 3,205 cases and 194 deaths, Maharashtra is the worst-hit state in the country so far. Delhi has reported 1,640 cases and 38 deaths.