New Delhi: Hours after writing to Kerala against the relaxation of coronavirus curbs, ministry of home affairs on Monday decided to send teams to West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to assess implementation of lockdown measures.
In four identical letters to the states, the -HA said, "...Whereas in some of the districts of the country a number of violations to the lockdown measures have been reported posing serious health hazard and risk for spread of Covid-19 which is against general interest of public." The letters list violations as — attack against health workers, violation of social distancing norms at banks, PDS and shops, at market places and movement of private and commercial vehicles in urban areas.
Additional Secretary-level officers have been asked to assess the situation in these districts within the next three days. According to MHA guidelines, civil aviation ministry will facilitate transport of the officials, while the state government will help with logistics and accommodation.
The teams will submit their report to the central government in the larger interest of the general public, the ministry said.
The central government has constituted six Inter-Ministerial Central Teams (IMCTs) to make on-spot assessment of the Covid-19 situation in these places and issue necessary directions to the four states — Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal — for redressal.
"The IMCTs will focus on compliance and implementation of the lockdown measures as per guidelines, supply of essential commodities, social distancing, preparedness of health infrastructure, safety of health professionals and conditions of relief camps for labourers and poor people," a home ministry official said.
In the communication to state governments and union territories, the home ministry also said there have been several incidents of violence against Covid-19 frontline healthcare professionals, complete violation of social distancing norms and movement of vehicles in urban areas. These should be stopped, it said.
The situation is "especially serious" in Indore in Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra, Jaipur in Rajasthan, and Kolkata, Howrah, East Medinipur, North 24 Parganas, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, the ministry said.
The lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic. It was further extended till May 3.
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