As the deadly COVID-19 takes a firm grip over India, the central and state authorities are scrambling to curb the spread.
As per latest government data, the cases of coronavirus infected people in the country has risen to 467, killing 8.
The Government of India has asked the states to strictly enforce lockdown to break the chain of transmission. The Health Ministry has said states would need to earmark hospitals to exclusively treat coronavirus patients.
Lockdown has been announced in almost every state of the Northeast to counter the growing threat of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Here are a few points into how a lockdown would look like...
What is a lockdown?
A lockdown is an emergency protocol that prevents people from leaving a given area. A full lockdown will mean you must stay where you are and not exit or enter a building or the given area.
This scenario usually allows for essential supplies, grocery stores, pharmacies and banks to continue to serve the people. All non-essential activities remain shut for the entire period.
India, at the moment, is not under complete lockdown. However, severe travel restrictions have been imposed on some states, and public places have been shut. Rail, intercity bus services have been suspended throughout the country.
What are essential activities?
Essential activities include picking up groceries and medical supplies, going to doctor and going on a walk provided you are following social distancing. If you work for an essential service, you will not need to adhere to these restrictions.
What happens if you break the rules?
Anyone breaking the rules, could be punished with simple imprisonment for a term that may extend up to one month or with a fine which may extend to Rs 200, or with both.
Can you go to work?
Most major cities in the country have ordered private companies to let employees work from home. All offices will remain shut or work with minimal staff till the end of the lockdown period. The central and several state governments have announced relief packages for daily-wage earners and other temporary workers.
What if you have an emergency?
Emergency services, like hospitals and pharmacies, will continue to operate as usual.
Should you stock up?
Grocery stores, as well as mall which have such stores within it, will remain open. Stocks might be low, since transport services will be heavily restricted.