Educational book shops, prepaid mobile phone recharging authorized during confinement


The Union Home Office on Tuesday authorized the opening of shops selling educational books and electric fans, bedside attendant services for the elderly and utilities, including charging facilities for phones. prepaid mobile phones while the lockdown is in progress. The Home Office also said bread factories and flour mills located in urban areas may restart operations during the ongoing lockdown to tackle the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In separate orders, the Home Office said the decision was made after receiving questions about exemptions from specific services and activities allowed by guidelines issued so far. Educational book stores for students, electric fan stores will be allowed to open during lockdown, which is expected to end on May 3.

Bedside attendants and caregivers of the elderly residing in their homes and in public services, including charging facilities for the prepaid mobile connection, will be allowed to offer services, the ministry said in its order. Food processing units such as bread factories, milk processing plants, flour mills, dal mills, etc. located in urban areas will be allowed to operate during containment.

Export or import facilities such as packing plants, inspection and processing facilities for seeds and horticultural products, research establishments dealing with agricultural and horticultural activities have been exempted from the scope of the locking.

Inter and intra-state movements of planting material and honey bee colonies, honey and other bee products will also be allowed, according to the ordinance. Forestry offices, forest plantations and related activities, including silviculture operations, are permitted during containment.

However, the ministry has made it clear that social distancing for offices, workshops, factories and establishments must be ensured. The Home Office has also authorized the registration and signature of Indian seafarers in Indian ports and their movement for the aforementioned purposes in accordance with a Standard Operating Protocol (SOP).

He said that changing a ship’s crew (sailors) is an important measure for the operation of merchant ships. The SOP was formulated to streamline the signing and signing of Indian sailors in Indian ports for merchant ships, the ministry added.

For registration, the shipowner or the Recruitment and Placement Service (RPS) agency will identify Indian sailors to join a vessel. Seafarers will communicate their voyage and the history of their contacts during the last 28 days to the shipowner or the RPS agency by email, in accordance with the procedure established by the Director General of the Merchant Navy (DGS) .

The seafarer would be examined by a forensic doctor approved by the DGS, in accordance with the guidelines prescribed for this purpose. At the same time, the seafarer must also be checked and his movements and contacts examined during the last 28 days; seafarers found to be asymptomatic for COVID-19 and otherwise fit may be treated for enrollment.

The local authority of the seafarer’s area of ​​residence will be informed of their authorization to embark and issue of a transit card from the place of residence to the place of embarkation on the vessel.


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