The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written to the Kerala government for violation of lockdown measures as it allowed public buses and barber shops to open from April 20.
In a letter to Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose on Sunday, the Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that the Kerala government had circulated some revised guidelines on April 17 and allowed activities that were prohibited under the lockdown measures. The letter said that the State government should rectify the guidelines and ensure strict compliance of the measures.
According to the letter, the additional activities allowed by the Kerala government are local workshops, barber shops, restaurants, book stores, MSMEs in municipal limits, bus travel in the cities and towns for short distances, two passengers in the back seat of cars, pillions on scooters, which amounts to violation of the MHA order.
Mr. Bhalla wrote another letter to all States and Union Territories asking them to strictly comply with MHA guidelines and ensure its implementation without any dilution.
On April 15, the MHA had revised its earlier guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to allow the States to decide the additional public activities to be allowed from April 20 in non-hotspot zones. It said the additional facilities would have to be based on strict compliance to the existing guidelines on lockdown measures. The first set of such guidelines were issued on March 24 under the DM Act, 2005 invoked for the first time in the country in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The countrywide lockdown, imposed on March 25 and which ended on April 14, has been extended till May 3.
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