Union Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) issued Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) for maintaining supply of essential goods today, in order to relieve hardships faced by people during 21-day nationwide lockdown to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
The Union Home Secretary, Ajay Kumar Bhalla wrote to all States/UTs and asked them to ensure the availability of essential goods to people during the period of the lockdown. For this, the SOPs suggest to let e-commerce remain operational and encourage home delivery of essential goods, while ensuring strict social distancing.
The SOPs prescribe that employees or persons engaged in the supply chain shall be allowed to commute on the basis of e-pass or any other certification issued by the concerned local authorities, on production of a valid photo identity card. In case of unorganized sector, persons engaged in the supply of essential goods may be allowed based on approval/authorization by the local authorities.
The SOPs, inter alia, also prescribe that the facilities engaged in supply of essential goods would carry out regular health and sanitation check-up of employees engaged and provide them proper protective gear.