Assam Government’s Response to COVID-19

Akhil N.R. - May 6, 2020

As of May 5, Assam has 43 confirmed cases of COVID-19.  Of these, 32 have been cured, and 1 person has died.  In this blog, we summarise some key decisions taken by the Government of Assam until May 5 for containing the spread of the pandemic in the state.

Movement Restrictions

For containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the Government of Assam took the following measures for restricting the movement of people in the state.  On March 19, the Department of Health and Family Welfare issued an order for closure of all museums, libraries, coaching centers among others until March 31.

Lockdown: To further restrict the movement of individuals, in order to contain the spread of the disease, the state government enforced a state-wide lockdown from March 24 to March 31.  The lockdown involved: (i) sealing the state borders, (ii) suspension of public transport services, (iii) closure of all commercial establishments, offices, and factories, and (iv) banning the congregation of more than five people at any public place.   Establishments providing essential goods and services were excluded from the lockdown restrictions.  Limited rituals were allowed in places of worship without any community participation.

This was followed by a nation-wide lockdown enforced by the central government between March 25 and April 14, now extended till May 18.  Starting from May 4, based on the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines, the state government has allowed certain activities with restrictions in green zones of the state.  Activities such as e-commerce for all commodities, construction activities in urban areas, functioning of government and private offices among others are being allowed in green zones.

Health Measures

The Assam COVID-19 regulations, 2020: On March 18, the government issued the Assam COVID-19 regulations, 2020.   These regulations are valid for one year.  Key features of the regulations are as follows: 

  • All government and private hospitals should have separate corners for the screening of COVID patients.  Further, they should record the travel history of such persons during screening,

  • No hospital can refuse the treatment of suspected/ confirmed COVID-19 cases,

  • People travelled through affected areas must voluntarily report to the authorities, and

  • District administration can take necessary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, such as (i) sealing a geographical area, (ii) restricting the movement of vehicles and people, and (iii) initiating active and passive surveillance of COVID-19 cases.

The Assam COVID-19 Containment Regulations, 2020: On March 21, the government issued the Assam COVID-19 Containment Regulations, 2020.  These regulations detail the measures to be taken in case of community transmission within a geographical area.  These include enhanced active surveillance, testing of all suspected cases, isolation of cases and home quarantine of contacts, among others. 

Guidelines to Airports:  On March 18, the government issued instructions regarding procedures to be followed at the airports for the screening of passengers.  The guidelines allocate responsibilities such as thermal screening of passengers, counselling, transportation of passengers among others to various teams at the airports.

Medical colleges and Hospitals: On March 23, the Department of Health and Family Welfare directed all medical colleges and district hospitals to set up isolation wards.  On March 27, the Department of Health and Family Welfare released measures to be followed in medical colleges and hospitals.  These include: (i) seven days of training on critical care to all doctors, nurses, final year students of bachelor programs and Postgraduate students, (ii) Principals should set up a core team in every college for managing COVID-19 patients, among others.

Welfare measures

Food distribution: On March 28, the government decided to provide gratuitous relief such as rice, pulses among others to all wage earners, slum dwellers, rickshaw pullers, homeless, and migrant labourers living in municipal towns for seven days.

Minor Forest Produce (MFP): For enhancing the income of tribal farmers, the government revised rates of 10 MFPs such as honey, hill broom and added 26 new MFPs for Minimum support price in the state. 

One-time financial assistance for persons stranded outside India: On March 22, the government announced one-time financial assistance of $2,000 to residents of Assam stranded in foreign countries.  People who went abroad 30 days before the stoppage of international flights (on March 22) and are unable to return will receive this financial assistance.

Administrative measures

  • On March 21, the government constituted the task force at the State level and District level for implementation of various measures for containment of COVID-19 in the state. 

  • On April 2, the government constituted a committee for monitoring and checking of fake news across all forms of media.

  • On April 29, the Department of Finance announced certain austerity measures in the context of the fiscal situation that arose due to COVID-19. These include suspension of MLA area development funds from April to July 2020, reduction in establishment expenditure, and a ban on the purchase of vehicles by the government (except ambulances and for policy duty).

For more information on the spread of COVID-19, and the central and state government response to the pandemic, please see here.

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Telangana Government’s Response to COVID-19

Akhil N.R. - May 1, 2020

As of April 30, Telangana has 1,012 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (9th highest in the country).  Of these, 367 have been cured, and 26 have died.  In this blog, we summarise some of the key decisions taken by the Government of Telangana for containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state and relief measures taken during the lockdown.

Movement Restrictions

For mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the Government of Telangana took the following measures for restricting the movement of people in the state.

Closure of commercial establishments: On March 14, the government ordered for the closure of cinema halls, amusement parks, swimming pools, gyms and museums until March 21 which was later extended to March 31.

Lockdown:  To further restrict the movement of people, the state and central governments announced lockdown in the state and country.  The lockdown included: (i) closing down state borders, (ii) suspension of public transport services, (iii) prohibiting congregation of more than five people.  The entities providing essential commodities and services were exempted from these restrictions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting from April 20, the central government allowed certain activities in less-affected districts of the country.  However, on April 19, the state government decided not to allow any relaxation in Telangana until May 7.

Health Measures

Telangana Epidemic Diseases (COVID-19) Regulations, 2020: On March 21, the government issued the Telangana Epidemic Diseases (COVID-19) Regulations, 2020.  The regulations are valid for one year.  Key features of the regulations include:

 (i) All government and private hospitals should have dedicated COVID-19 corners,

 (ii) People who had travelled through the affected areas should be home quarantined for 14 days,

(iii) Procedures to be followed in the containment zones among others.

Private Hospitals: On March 22, for increasing the availability of healthcare facilities in the state, the government issued an order prohibiting private hospitals from performing any elective surgeries.  The hospitals were also instructed to have separate counters for respiratory infections.

Increasing the health workforce in the state: On March 30, the government issued notification for the recruitment of medical professionals on a short term basis.

Prohibition on spitting in public places: On April 6, the Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare department banned spitting of paan, any chewable tobacco or non-tobacco product, and sputum in public places.

Welfare measures

To mitigate the hardships faced by the people, the government took various welfare measures. Some of them are summarized below:

Relief assistance: On March 23, the government announced the following measures:  

  • 12 kg of rice will be provided for free to all food security cardholders.
  • One-time support of Rs 1,500 will be provided to all food security card holding families for buying essential commodities such as groceries and vegetables.

Factories: On March 24, the government directed the management of factories to pay the wages to all workers during the lockdown period.  

Migrant Workers: On March 30, the government decided to provide 12 kg of rice or atta and one time of support of Rs 500 to all migrant workers residing in the state.

Regulation of school fees: On April 21, the government ordered all private schools not to increase any fees during the academic year of 2020-21.  The schools will charge only tuition fees on a monthly basis. 

Deferment of collection of rent: On April 23, the government notified that house owners should defer the rent collection for three months.  Further, the owners should collect the deferred amount in instalments after three months.

Administrative Measures

Deferment of salaries: The government announced 75% deferment of salaries of all the state legislators,  chairperson of all corporations and elected representatives of all local bodies.  The government employees will have salary deferment from 10% to 60%.  Employees of the  Police Department, Medical and Health Department, and sanitation workers employed in all Municipal Corporations and Municipalities are exempted from deferment of salary.

Chief Minister's Special Incentives: The government granted special incentives to certain categories of employees as follows:

  • Medical and Health Department:  The employees of the Department of Medical and Health were given an additional 10% of their gross salary as an incentive for March and April,
  • Sanitation personnel: The sanitation employees of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation were given 7,500 rupees and the sanitation personnel of other local bodies were provided 5,000 rupees as incentives for March and April,
  • Police: The police personnel were awarded an additional 10% of their gross salary as an incentive for April. 

For more information on the spread of COVID-19 and the central and state government response to the pandemic, please see here.

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Odisha Government’s Response to COVID-19

Akhil N.R. - April 29, 2020

As of April 28, Odisha has 118 cases of COVID-19.  Of these, 37 have been cured, and 1 person has died.  In this blog, we summarise some of the key decisions taken by the Government of Odisha until April 28 for containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

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Before the lockdown

On March 24, the state government enforced state-wide lockdown.  Before enforcing it, the state government took several measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19 besides declaring it as a State disaster on March 13.   Some of the key measures are summarised below.

Health Measures

The Odisha COVID-19 Regulations, 2020: On March 18, the Government issued The Odisha COVID-19 Regulations, 2020.  These regulations are valid for a year.  As per these regulations, both government and private hospitals must have dedicated COVID-19 isolation facilities.   

Foreign returnees: On March 16, the Government issued an order for foreign returnees to: (i) mandatorily register on COVID portal within 24 hours of their arrival (ii) home quarantine themselves for 14 days.  An incentive of 15,000 rupees will be provided for registration and completing home quarantine. 

Prisons: On March 17, the Government released precautionary measures to be taken in prisons by authorities and inmates.  Newly admitted prisoners should be quarantined in different wards for a week. From March 18, e-Mulakat was allowed in District headquarters jails.

Private Health Care Facilities: On March 19, the Department of Health and Family Welfare issued guidelines for Private Health Care Facilities.  The guidelines specify the hospitals to have a COVID-19 specific counter with separate entrance, regulating the entry of visitors, and infection control measures.

Media: On March 21, the Department of Health and Family Welfare issued guidelines to the media not to publish any information or interview the infected persons, their relatives, doctors and support medical staff of them.

Increasing the health workforce in the state: The Department of Health and Family Welfare issued an order on March 23 for the engagement of Staff Nurses and other Paramedics on a short term basis.  The hired employees will be provided with additional incentives. 

Administrative Measures

State crisis management committee: On March 4, a State crisis management committee was formed to take policy decisions regarding cluster containment.

Prohibiting strikes of employees: On March 21, the government issued an order prohibiting any strikes by employees engaged in the supply of drinking water and sanitation in urban local bodies.  The order is valid for six months.

Public and private establishments: On March 21, the government requested all public and private establishments not to terminate the employees or reduce their wages.

Movement Restrictions

Closure of commercial establishments: On March 13, the Department of Health and Family Welfare ordered for the closure of cinema halls, swimming pools, gyms and educational institutions except for holding examinations until March 31. 

Suspension of bus services: On March 23, the Department of Health and Family Welfare issued an order suspending intra-state bus services from March 24 and City bus services in all urban local bodies from midnight of March 23.

Lockdown in few districts:  On March 21, the government announced lockdown in five revenue districts and eight towns of the state until March 29.  The lockdown involved (i) suspension of public transport services (ii) closure of all commercial establishments, offices, and factories (iii) banning the congregation of more than seven people at any public place.

During the lockdown

With two cases in the state, on March 24, the government extended the lockdown to the entire state till March 29.  Establishments engaged in the supply of essential goods and services were excluded from this lockdown.

This was followed by a nation-wide lockdown enforced by the central government between March 25 and April 14, now extended till May 3.   Before the extension announced by the central government, the state government extended the lockdown in the state till April 30.

Starting from April 20, the central government allowed certain activities in less-affected districts of the country.  Further, on April 24, the Ministry of Home Affairs allowed the opening of certain categories of shops with a limited workforce.

Welfare Measures

The Odisha government announced several welfare measures to address the difficulties being faced by people during the lockdown.  Key measures include:

Temporary shelter for migrants: On March 28, the government ordered District collectors and Municipal Commissioners to use closed down schools and hostel buildings as temporary shelters for the migrants. 

Provision of food in rural areas: On March 30, the government decided to provide hot cooked food for needy people in rural areas at affordable prices.  Two meals per day will be provided at Rs 60 for adults and Rs 45 for children per day.

Compensation to family members: The Odisha government will be giving compensation of fifty lakh rupees to the family members of the employees who may die due to COVID-19 and are not covered under insurance scheme of the central government.

Administrative Measures

Ordinances: As the State Assembly is not in session, the government promulgated two ordinances.

  • The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020On April 7, the government promulgated an ordinance to deal with COVID-19 spread.  The Ordinance amends Section 2 and 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.  The Act provides for the prevention of the spread of dangerous epidemic diseases.  The ordinance amends the act to increase the penalty for individuals committing the offences under the act.  

Setting up control rooms: On March 26, the Home department set up a round the clock control room for monitoring the issues regarding the implementation of lockdown and stranded Odias in various parts of the country.  On March 27 and 28, three control rooms were set up in Bhubaneswar and Delhi for the migrant labourers.

Deferment of salaries: The government announced 70% deferment of salaries of all the elected representatives of the state and 50% deferment for the employees of All India Services such as IAS and IPS.

Implementation of MGNREGS: On March 31, the Department of Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water issued an advisory for the implementation of MGNREGS.  Key measures include: (i) Job cards will be provided to people interested in doing unskilled works, (ii) Individual works up to 5 persons is allowed (iii) Hand wash and safe drinking water should be provided at the worksites.

Essential Goods and Services

  • On March 25, the government authorised certain authorities to issue passes for the free movement of essential goods.

  • For facilitating the movement of goods, the government allowed the opening of roadside dhabas, and vehicle repair shops situated on Highways.  These should be located outside of towns and cities.  

Health Measures

Amendments to Odisha COVID-19 regulations, 2020

  • On April 3, the government added following provisions to the Odisha COVID-19 regulations, 2020: (i) additional duties and responsibilities of hospitals and local bodies such as infection control measures in hospitals among others. (ii) state government or empowered officers can declare any government or private hospital as COVID hospital. 

  • On April 9, wearing masks were made compulsory for the people stepping out their houses and were included in the regulations.

  • On April 16, the government included the ‘prohibition of spitting in any form in public places’ into the regulations.

Short term engagements: On March 27, the government invited senior professionals having expertise in various sectors such as health care management, international logistics, and charities to work as Honorary Advisors to Government on a voluntary basis.  The government issued an order for engagement of microbiologists on a short term basis.

Training of MBBS students- On March 28, the government decided to train the MBBS students of all medical colleges studying 7th, 8th and 9th semesters and deploy them if there is a rise in the number of cases in future.  Training of government establishments was taken up in the first phase. Private colleges were also requested to train doctors and students simultaneously. 

Additional resources: On April 6, the State Executive Department authorized the Principal Secretary, Department of Health to requisition the services of anybody having expertise in public health care management.  When the need arises, the government can use the services of healthcare professionals such as doctors, nursing staff from government or private organisations to assist the state government.  

Support to personnel fighting the Pandemic: On April 22, the government announced certain measures to support the personnel fighting COVID-19 in the state. They are

  • The Government will invoke the National Security Act, 1980 against the individuals causing violence to any member of the medical community such as doctors, nurses, and health workers. 

  • While on duty, if any government employee dies due to COVID-19, the family will get the salary until the retirement date of the deceased employee.

  • The cremation of the individuals dying due to COVID-19 on duty will be honoured by the state as usually accorded to the martyrs. 

Handling the return of migrants from other parts of the country: On April 19, the Revenue and Disaster Management department issued an advisory to Gram Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies for handling the influx of migrants from other parts of the country, once the lockdown is over.  The advisory has the following steps.

(i) All local bodies should have registration facilities.  People returning from other states should register through their relatives or family members.

(ii) All persons arriving from various states will be quarantined for 14 days.

(iii) An incentive of 2,000 rupees will be provided to the people for completing the quarantine period in the quarantine facilities.

For more information on the spread of COVID-19 and the central and state government response to the pandemic, please see here.

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Delhi Government’s Response to COVID-19 (till April 23, 2020)

Akhil N.R. - April 24, 2020

As of April 23, Delhi has 2,248 cases of COVID-19.  After Maharashtra and Gujarat, Delhi has the highest number of cases in the country.  On March 22, when the number of cases rose to 29, the Delhi government announced lockdown in the state until March 31, to contain the spread of COVID-19. This has been followed by a nation-wide lockdown by the central government between March 25 and May 3.  In this blog, we summarise some of the key measures taken by the state government in response to COVID-19 so far.

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Before the lockdown

On March 8, with three cases of COVID-19 in the state, the Department of Health and Family Welfare decided to carry out an awareness drive at various crowded places during Holi.  Along with it, the government also took several other steps for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the state.  Some of these measures are summarised below.

Health Measures

Disinfecting the vehicles: On March 11 and 12, the government ordered to disinfect minibusesschool buses and school cabs daily.

The Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020: On March 12, with six cases of COVID-19, the Delhi government notified The Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020.  These regulations are valid for a year.  Key provisions include:

(i)  All government and private hospitals should have dedicated flu corners.

(ii) home quarantine for people who have travelled through the affected areas, and

(iii) Certain persons authorised under the Regulations, with the approval of the State Task Force, can take necessary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, such as: (i) sealing a geographical area, (ii) restricting the movement of vehicles and people, and (iii) initiating active and passive surveillance of COVID-19 cases.

Movement Restrictions

Educational institutions: On March 12, the government ordered the closure of all educational institutions up to March 31.  The students writing examinations were allowed to attend them along with the staff.   However, on March 19, the government ordered the postponement of exams until March 31.

Public gatherings:

  • On March 13, the government issued an order prohibiting the gatherings of over 200 people such as seminars, conferences, and Indian Premier League cricket matches.   This was further restricted to 50 people on March 16, and to 20 people on March 19 when the number of cases rose to 12.
  • Between March 12 and March 16, the government ordered the closure of cinema hallspublic swimming poolsgyms, and night clubs until March 31.   On March 19 and 20, sports complexes and shopping malls were also ordered to be shut down. 

Restaurants and private establishments: On March 19, all restaurants were ordered to discontinue sitting arrangements until March 31.  Private establishments were ordered to allow their employees to work from home till March 31. 

Delhi-Kathmandu bus service: On March 20, the government suspended the Delhi-Kathmandu bus service, officially known as the Maitri Bus Sewa.

During the lockdown

On March 22, when the number of cases rose to 29, the Delhi government announced the lockdown in the state until March 31.  The lockdown involved: (i) suspending the public transport services, (ii) sealing borders with Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, (iii) suspending all domestic and international flights arriving in Delhi, and (iv) banning the congregation of more than five persons at any public place.  This was followed by a nation-wide lockdown enforced by the central government between March 25 and April 14, now extended till May 3

Starting from April 20, the central government allowed certain activities in less-affected districts of the country.  However, the Delhi government, on April 19, announced that there will not be any relaxation in the lockdown in Delhi, until another comprehensive assessment which will be made on April 27.

Welfare Measures

The Delhi government announced several welfare measures to address the difficulties being faced by people during the lockdown.  Key measures include:

Night shelters: The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board is providing free meals to the homeless people staying in the night shelters.  On March 25, a hunger helpline was set up which directs the needy people to the nearest night shelter for food.

Hunger Relief Centers: On March 26, the government directed the District Magistrates to set up at least two hunger relief centres in every municipal ward for providing 500 meals twice (lunch and dinner) every day at each centre. 

Financial assistance: The government is providing one-time financial assistance of Rs 5,000 to drivers of vehicles such as autos, taxis, and e-rickshaws.

Compensation to family members: The Delhi government will be giving compensation of one crore rupees to the family members of the employees who may die due to COVID-19.

Health Measures

Additional manpower: On March 24, the government ordered the hospitals and institutions under the Department of Health and Family Welfare to engage up to 25% additional manpower in outsourced services such as sanitation, security, and nursing assistants. 

Wearing masks made compulsory: On April 8, the government made it compulsory for all people to wear masks in public places, offices, gatherings, meetings, and personal vehicles.

Identification of paid quarantine facilities: On April 13, the government ordered all district magistrates to identify paid quarantine facilities in their respective districts for housing the people who would like to use private facilities on payment basis.   

Creation of a multi-sectoral dedicated team: On April 13, the government ordered for the creation of the Corona Foot Warriors and Containment Team at every booth.  The government aims to enhance ground level intervention through them. 

Setting up Helpline: On April 17, the Department of Health and Family Welfare set up a dedicated 24x7 Whatsapp number for receiving complaints and requests from the people related to COVID-19.

Measures related to Media

The government took the following steps to control the spread of fake news related to COVID-19:

  • On April 1, the government ordered the Director, Directorate of Information and Publicity to regularly monitor the fake news across print and electronic media.  He was appointed as the nodal officer of Delhi’s fact check unit on April 3.    
  • On April 20, the Department of Health and Family Welfare ordered all government hospitals to create a media cell for monitoring the fake news about the functioning of hospitals on social and news media.

For more information on the spread of COVID-19 and the central and state government response to the pandemic, please see here.

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Maharashtra Government’s Response to COVID-19 (till April 20, 2020)

Akhil N.R. - April 21, 2020

With 4,203 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Maharashtra has the highest number of cases in the country as of April 20, 2020.  Of these, 507 have been cured, and 223 have died.  In this blog, we summarise some of the key decisions taken by the Government of Maharashtra for containing the spread of COVID-19 in the state. 

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Measures taken prior to lockdown

By March 12, the state had registered 11 cases of COVID-19. Consequently, the state government took measures to: (i) prepare hospitals for screening and testing of patients, and (ii) limit mass gathering given the highly contagious nature of the disease. The measures taken by the government before the lockdown are summarised below.

Health Measures

On March 14, the government notified the Maharashtra COVID-19 regulations to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.  Key features of the regulations include: (i) screening of COVID-19 patients in hospitals, (ii) home quarantine for people who have travelled through the affected areas, and (iii) procedures to be followed in the containment zones, among others. 

Movement Restrictions

On March 15, with 31 COVID-19 cases in the state, the Department of Public Health ordered the closure of cinema halls, swimming pools, gyms, theatres, and museums until March 31.   On March 16, all educational institutions and hostels in the state were closed till March 31.  The teaching staff was advised to work from home.  All exams were also deferred until March 31.

Administrative Measures

On March 13, the Maharashtra government constituted a high-level committee to formulate guidelines for mitigating of the spread of COVID-19 in the state.  The responsibilities of the committee included: (i) taking a daily review of the status of COVID-19 in the state, and (ii) implementing the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health.

On March 17, the first casualty due to COVID-19 occurred in the state.  On March 19, the government put restrictions on meetings in the government offices and issued safety guidelines to be followed in these meetings.

On March 20, considering the unmitigated spread of COVID-19 in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, the attendance in government offices was restricted to 25%. Subsequently, on March 23, the government limited the attendance in government offices to 5% across the state.

Measures taken post-lockdown

To further restrict the movement of individuals, in order to contain the spread of the disease, the state government enforced a state-wide lockdown on March 23. This lockdown, applicable till March 31, involved: (i) closing down of state borders, (ii) suspension of public transport services, and (iii) banning the congregation of more than five people at any public place. Entities engaged in the supply of essential goods and services were excluded from this lockdown.  This was followed by a nation-wide lockdown enforced by the central government between March 25 and April 14, now extended till May 3.  Before the extension announced by the central government, the state government extended the lockdown in the state till April 30.

On April 15, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued guidelines on the measures to be taken by state governments until May 3.  As per these guidelines, select activities will be permitted in less-affected districts from April 20 onwards to reduce the hardships faced by people.  Some of the permitted activities are (i) agriculture and related activities, (ii) MNERGA works, (iii) construction activities, (iv) industrial establishments, (v) health services, (vi) certain financial sector activities among others subject to certain conditions. 

Welfare Measures

To address the hardship being faced by residents of the state due to lockdown, the state took several welfare measures summarised as follows:

  • On March 30, the School Education Department issued directions to all schools in the state to postpone the collection of school fees until the lockdown is over.

  • The Department of Tribal Development issued directions to provide food/dietary components at home to women beneficiaries and children under Bharat Ratna Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Amrut Aahar Yojana. 

  • The state government issued directives to the private establishments, industries and companies to pay full salaries and wages to their employees. 

  • On April 7, the state Cabinet decided to provide wheat and rice at a subsidised price to all Above Poverty line ration card holders and Shiv Bhojan at Rs 5 for next three months in all Shiv Bhojan centres.

  • On April 17, the Housing Department notified that landlords/house owners should defer the rent collection for three months.  No eviction will be allowed due to non-payment of rent during this period. 

Administrative Measures

  • On March 29, the public works department issued directions suspending the collection of tolls at PWD and MSRDC toll plazas for goods transport until further direction.

  • MLA Local Development Program:  Under MLALAD program, a one-time special exception to use the MLALAD funds was given to legislators for the purchase of medical equipment and materials for COVID-19 during the year 2020-21.

  • Analysing the impact on the economy of the state:  On April 13, the government constituted an Expert Committee and a Cabinet Sub-Committee to analyse the implications of COVID-19 on the economy of the state. These committees will also suggest measures to revive the economy of the state.

Orders relating to Mumbai city

  • On April 8, the city administration made it compulsory for all people to wear masks in public places. 

  • On April 10, the Commissioner of Police, Greater Mumbai issued an order prohibiting any kind of fake or distorted information on all social media and messaging applications. The order is valid until April 24.

For more information on the spread of COVID-19 and the central and state government response to the pandemic, please see here.

 

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Andhra Pradesh Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020 - April 14, 2020)

Akhil N.R. - April 14, 2020

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 disease to be a global pandemic.  Along with the Central government, State governments have announced several policy decisions to prevent and contain the spread of the virus in their respective states.  In this blog post, we summarise some of the key measures taken by the Andhra Pradesh Government in this regard as of April 14, 2020.

As of April 14, 2020, there are 473 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Andhra Pradesh.  Of these, 14 patients have been cured/discharged and 9 have died.[1]

Movement Restrictions

To contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state, the Government of Andhra Pradesh took the following measures for restricting the movement of people in the state.

  • On March 18 and 19, the Department of Health issued orders to close educational institutions and non-essential commercial establishments such as cinema halls, gyms, malls, and swimming pools until March 31.[2]
     
  • On March 22, the state announced a complete lockdown till March 31.  Gathering of more than four people was prohibited at any public place.  Establishments providing essential goods and services were excluded from the lockdown restrictions.2  This was followed by the central government’s announcement on a 21-day country-wide lockdown starting March 25.[3]  On April 14, the Prime Minister announced the extension of lockdown till May 3, 2020.[4]

Essential Goods and Services

The state government exempted certain essential commodities and services such as fruits, vegetables, milk, groceries, public distribution system through Fair Price Shops, and medicines from the lockdown.  It also formed the District Level Committees headed by Joint Collector for fixing and monitoring the prices of essential food items.2

On April 3, the government declared that all government and private health care and medical facilities will be considered as essential services for a period of six months.2 

Welfare Measures

The state government has announced the following welfare measures for the people who are in distress due to the lockdown. 

  • One kilogram of red gram dal, and the ration of rice for the month of April will be provided for free to all rice cardholders.2
     
  • A one-time support of Rs 1,000 will be provided to all rice card holding families for buying essential commodities such as groceries and vegetables.2
     
  • The state government will provide free ration to NGOs running old age homes and child care institutions.  This free ration will include 10 kg of rice and one kg of red gram dal per resident.[5]
     
  • On March 31, the State Government directed the district administration to set up Special Shelter Centres in urban areas for providing food and shelter to the migrant workers and homeless in the state.2

Health Measures

Andhra Pradesh Epidemic Disease COVID-19 Regulations 2020

On March 13, 2020, the government notified the Andhra Pradesh Epidemic Disease COVID-19 Regulations, 2020 for containment of COVID in the state.  As per these regulations, both government and private hospitals must have dedicated COVID-19 isolation facilities.2

Setting up of quarantine centres at district and constituency level

On March 25, the Department of Health issued orders for setting up a 100-bed quarantine centre in every constituency and 200-bed quarantine centre at the district level.[6]  On March 31, certain hospitals were designated as exclusive hospitals for treating Corona positive patients.  These include: (i) four hospitals at the state level and (ii) 13 hospitals at district level (one hospital per district).2

Ban on spitting in public places

On April 12, the government issued an order prohibiting the use and spitting of smokeless tobacco or chewable tobacco/non-tobacco product, sputum in public places.[7]

Administrative Measures

The government announced 100% deferment of salaries of all the elected representatives of the state and 10% to 60% deferment for all the government employees of the state.[8]  Employees of the Medical and Health Department, Police Department, and sanitation workers employed in rural and urban local bodies are exempted from salary deferment.[9]

For more information on the spread of COVID-19 and the central and state government response to the pandemic, please see here.


[1] COVID-19: Andhra Pradesh, Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare website, last accessed on April 14, 2020, http://hmfw.ap.gov.in/covid_dashboard.aspx.

[2] Compendium of Instructions, Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, http://hmfw.ap.gov.in/COVID-19%20IEC/COMPENDIUM%20OF%20INSTRUCTIONS%20-%20COVID19.pdf.

[3] Order No. 1-29/2020-PP, National Disaster Management Authority, March 24, 2020, https://mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/ndma%20order%20copy.pdf.

[4] “PM addresses the nation for 4th time in 4 Weeks in India’s fight against COVID-19” Press Release, Prime Minister’s office, April 14, 2020, https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1614255.

[5] G.O.RT.No. 58, Department for Women, Children, Differently Abled & Senior Citizens Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, March 29, 2020.

[6] Order No.4/COVID-19/2020, Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, March 25, 2020  http://hmfw.ap.gov.in/COVID-19%20IEC/4.GOI%20Guidelines%20and%20Advisories/InstantOrders/COVID%20INSTANT%20ORDER%20-%204.pdf.pdf.

[7] G.O.RT.No. 237, Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, April 12, 2020.

[8] G.O.Ms.No.:26, Department of Finance, Government of Andhra Pradesh, March 31, 2020.

[9] G.O.Ms.No.:27, Department of Finance, Government of Andhra Pradesh, April 4, 2020.

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