Various state governments are working to ensure that essential items are provided at the doorsteps of people living in areas identified as COVID-19 hotspots to restrict their movement, a senior official said on Sunday (April 12).
Punya Salila Srivastava, a joint secretary in the Union home ministry, told reporters her ministry has reiterated to the states and union territories that inter-state and intra-state movement of all kinds of goods is allowed and vehicles transporting them should be permitted to ply unrestricted.
“State governments are working to ensure that essential commodities are provided door-to-door in the hotspot areas so that people do not go out of their homes,” she said.
“For this, they (state government authorities) are also taking the help of volunteers and civil society organisations,” Srivastava said.
COVID-19 hotspots have been declared in various districts of the country by respective state governments to contain the spread of the disease. Movement of people in such areas is strictly curtailed and all activities are being monitored round-the-clock by police and civic authorities.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), she said, has again clarified to the states and UTs that there is “no restriction on inter-state and intra-state cargo movement whether it is essential goods or any other item”.
Godowns and cold stores can also keep all kinds of goods. Godowns in the premises of companies are also included in the exempted category under the list that specifies allowed services during the nationwide lockdown, the officer said.
All state authorities have also been directed to ensure that employees and labourers of essential goods manufacturing units are able to get passes easily so that there is no obstruction in the functioning of these units, Srivastava said.
Talking about the measures to provide food to the needy and stranded and undertaking awareness about the pandemic, Srivastava said: “at some places, army units have also come forward”.
Updating about the availability of essential commodities in the country, she said the situation was under control.”In the Ministry of Home Affairs control room, representatives of the ministry of consumer affairs, railways, civil aviation, and other officials are resolving all kinds of logistical problems in coordination with state governments,” she said.
The officer also urged people to follow the cyberdost Twitter handle run by the MHA to obtain information about measures to combat cybercrimes, especially of the financial kind, adding that these instances have increased as a “lot of people are now doing work from home” in the wake of the ongoing lockdown in the country.
She said people can also register complaints in case of encountering a cybercrime at the government portal cybercrime.gov.in.”We are sure with these measures in place we will be able to have security and safety in cyberspace,” the officer added.