Alert: India Coronavirus Update – April 24 2020

April 24, 2020

Alert: India Coronavirus Update

Today [April 24], the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an order to all States/UTs, to allow opening of all shops registered under Shops & Establishment Act of respective States/ UTs, including shops in residential complexes, neighborhood & standalone shops. It would be mandatory for all permitted shops to open only with 50% strength of workers, ensure compulsory wearing of masks and strict adherence to social distancing norms. It is important to note that these relaxations in lockdown restrictions would not applicable in hotspots/containment zones. See announcement here.

The MHA has also clarified certain misplaced apprehensions of Industry Associations regarding legal liability on company CEOs, if employees are found COVID-19 positive.  The notification also clarifies that the consolidated revised guidelines do not curtail the exemptions that had already been provided earlier unless the exempted activity falls within a containment zone. Therefore, no fresh approvals are required for industries already permitted to operate prior to April 15.  See announcement here.

The Home Secretary has written to all Chief Secretaries and Administrators to ensure adequate security is provided to healthcare professionals, medical staff & frontline workers to prevent violence against them. See notification here.

EDUCATION:

Ministry of Human Resource Development has e-launched VidyaDaan 2.0 program for inviting e-learning content contributions. The program has been launched due to the increasing requirement for e-learning content for students (both school and higher education) especially in the backdrop of situation arising out of Covid- 19 and also due to the urgent need to integrate digital education with schooling to augment learning. See notification here.

Non-Government Stakeholders in Action

  • Adobe is implementing a number of customer-friendly programs intended to provide continued access to its products as the COVID-19 situation develops. Learn more about the program’s here.
  • RenewPower has committed INR 20 crores to INR 20 Crores to COVID-19 relief in India. They have also distributed dry ration in more than 140 villages around ReNew Power sites, covering the following states: Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
  • Google India provides features across its products to indicate the locations of hundreds of food and night shelters set up by the government across the country, accessible through Google Maps, Search, and Google Assistant.
  • YouTube has launched a Coronavirus News Shelf on the YouTube Homepage, which provides the latest news from authoritative media outlets regarding the outbreak.
  • PhRMA: New report shows nearly 260 vaccines in development, including dozens for COVID-19. See report here.

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