Focus: GS-III Disaster Management
Why in news?
- All train, metro and inter-State transport services across the country were suspended on Sunday till March 31 as the death toll from COVID-19 rose to seven nationwide, and the number of confirmed cases stood at 396.
- Unprecedented restrictions were imposed in 80 districts across 17 States and five Union Territories affected by the pandemic.
- State governments will issue orders allowing only essential services to operate in districts with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- The focus should be on closure of all activities except essential services such as hospitals, telecom, medicine shops and provision stores.
- The new measures can be described as further “pre-emptive” actions, given the “sharp increase” in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country after curbs on international travel, contact tracing and efforts at social distancing.
- The ‘Janata Curfew’ on 22nd March could also be a precursor of more stringent measures.
- State governments could request industries / establishments allow their staff to work from home and “provide renumeration to them during this period”.
- States could also take appropriate measures to help poor and vulnerable sections, including casual workers, in order to mitigate any hardships that might be caused.