Food processing units in urban areas, prepaid mobile recharge utilities exempted from lockdown restrictions: MHA

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New Delhi, April 23 (ANI): The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spokesperson Punya Salila Srivastava on Thursday clarified that in-house caregivers of senior citizens and prepaid mobile recharge utilities are exempted from lockdown restrictions.

She also informed that the food processing units in urban areas have also been exempted from the restrictions and the Ministry has also allowed activities related to import and export of horticulture produce. “To ensure the availability of essentials, food processing units in urban areas such as milk processing units, bread factories and flour mills have also been exempted,” said Srivastava during a press conference.

The country is under a lockdown which was initially meant for 21 days but was later extended till May 3 to contain coronavirus. Srivastava said that the Home Ministry has also allowed shops selling electric fans to operate and the shops that sell educational books for students have also been allowed to operate.

“Considering that Indian seafarers are stranded and/or are not able to join duty and that seafarers from other countries may take place of Indian seafarers, MHA has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on sign-on/sign-off for Indian seafarers at Indian ports and their movement,” she said.

She also added that the states are facilitating commercial activities as per MHA guidelines, in areas which are not hotspots or containment zones. Home Ministry has written to states to ensure the security of medical professionals, asking them to work with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) local chapter and take requisite steps for the security of healthcare workers. Meanwhile, India’s count of COVID-19 has climbed to 21,393 after 1,409 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, said the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today.

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