States cannot Dilute rules Under COVID-19 Lock down Guidelines

New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has instructed the State Governments and Union Territories not to dilute the lockdown guidelines framed by it.

The lockdown guidelines for the control of COVID-19 transmission were formulated by the Home Secretary exercising the powers as the Chairperson of the National Executive Committee under Section 10 (2)(l) of the Disaster Management Act 2005.

“It is emphasized that as per the orders issued by the MHA under Disaster Management Act 2005, the States/Union Territories cannot dilute the restrictions imposed vide the aforesaid guidelines”, Ajay Bhalla IAS, Home Secretary, said in a letter sent to Chief Secretaries of all States and Administrators of all UTs on April 14. “I would again urge you to strictly implement the directions issued by MHA under Disaster Management Act 2005, as contained in the Consolidated Guidelines, without any dilution of the same”, added the letter of Home Secretary.

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In the revised guidelines issued on Wednesday, it was reiterated that “State/UT Governments shall not dilute these guidelines under the Disaster Management Act 2005, and shall strictly enforce the same”.

“State/UT Governments, may, however, impose stricter measures than these guidelines as per requirement of local areas”, the MHA clarified. States/UTs have been directed to demarcate ‘hotspots’ and ‘containment zones’ in their areas as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

In those places, activities permitted under the guidelines will not be allowed. “The guidelines issued in this regard (hotspots and containment zones) by MOHFW will be strictly implemented by the State/UT Governments and local district authorities”, the MHA said.

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