NEW DELHI: The Centre on Sunday directed all the States and the Union Territories (UTs) to “suitably modify” their lockdown orders in pursuance to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to reflect the correct position. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in a written instruction to the Chief Secretaries and the administrators in all the states and the UTs also mentioned that they should alert their field agencies to ensure smooth movement of the entire supply chain of essential goods, including e-commerce. It was also directed that the public should also adequately informed about the guidelines.
Bhalla’s letter came after a fresh guideline was issued by the MHA which prohibited the operation of e-commerce companies for no-essential goods.
However, the Home Secretary mentioned that the e-commerce companies would continue to operate for essential goods as allowed earlier. He asked the states and the UTs as well as other authorities to strictly follow the directions for the containment of the novel coronavirus outbreak which has claimed 507 deaths across India so far.
In a fresh guideline earlier on Sunday, the MHA allowed e-commerce companies and the vehicles used by operators of these units to supply only essential goods subject to “necessary permission” during the lockdown.
The guideline prohibited the supply of non-essential goods by e-commerce companies during the 19-day lockdown ending on May 3.
The guideline was in continuation of consolidated lockdown guidelines issued on March 15 and March 16.
The fresh guideline was issued as the first phase of the 21-day lockdown period was extended by 19 days by the Prime Minister in the wake of growing COVID-19 cases. (IANS)