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New Delhi, March 29, 2020
The Central Government today directed all States and Union Territories to ensure that all district and state borders should be effectively sealed and to ensure that there is no movement of people across cities or on highways in view of the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed by the Government to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Cabinet Secretary and the Union Home Secretary held video conferences in this regard with the Chief Secretaries and Directors-General of Police in this regard yesterday evening and this morning, an official press release said.
The release said that it was noted that, by and large, there has been effective Implementation of guidelines across all states and UTs. Essential supplies have also been maintained. The situation is being monitored round the clock and necessary measures are being taken as required, it said.
"However, there has been movement of migrant workers in some parts of the country. Directions were issued that district and state borders should be effectively sealed. States were directed to ensure there is no movement of people across cities or on highways. Only movement of goods should be allowed," the release said.
The Centre said that the District Magistrates (DMs) and Superintendents of Police (SPs) should be made personally responsible for implementation of these directions which have been issued under the Disaster Management Act.
"It has been advised that adequate arrangements for food and shelter of poor and needy people including migrant laborers be made at the place of their work. Centre had yesterday issued orders for use of SDRF funds for this purpose. Sufficient funds are available with States in this head.
"States have been also told to ensure timely payment of wages to labourers at their place of work during the period of lockdown without any cut. House Rent should not be demanded from the labourers for this period. Action should be taken against those who are asking labourers or students to vacate the premises.
"Those who have violated the lockdown and traveled during the period of lockdown will be subject to minimum 14 days of quarantine in government quarantine facilities. Detailed instructions on monitoring of such persons during quarantine have been issued to States," the release said.
The Cabinet Secretary and the Home Secretary impressed upon all the States that three weeks of strict enforcement of the lockdown was essential to contain the spread of the coronavirus. "This is in the interest of everyone," they added.