Centre Against Kerala Diluting the Lockdown Guidelines

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The Home Ministry has come out strongly against Kerala and some other states and Union Territories deciding to relax the guidelines on lockdown given by the central government. The government has made it clear that states and union territories cannot “dilute” its guidelines on the nationwide lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus and said states cannot allow their own activities during this period; they can be stricter if they want, the centre said. In a letter to states and union territories, the Union Home Secretary said only those activities permitted by the centre would be allowed from today in parts of the country that are least affected by the coronavirus.
In a separate letter to Kerala, the home ministry has strongly objected to its move to restart restaurants, book shops and barber shops in parts of the state from today.
Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote the letter on Sunday after some states made their own list of essential activities and announced relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions from today
“I would again urge you to ensure compliance of the revised consolidated guidelines, and direct all concerned authorities for their strict implementation in letter and spirit without any dilution and to ensure strict compliance of lockdown,” the letter reads.
The decision to allow Local workshops, barber shops, two passengers in the backseat of cars and pillion riders on two-wheelers would also be allowed in specific zones is a violation of centre’s guidelines. Bus travel would be allowed for short journeys within some towns, Kerala had said. Take-away counters could function until 8 pm.
“This amounts to dilution of guidelines issued by the home ministry and violation of the order dated April 15 issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005,” said the letter from Ajay Bhalla, Home Secretary to Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose, stressing on strict compliance of lockdown measures.

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