COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Attention has been drawn to media reports regarding orders passed by Central Information Commission regarding an RTI query with regard to AarogyaSetu App. As per the orders, of the CIC, CPIOs of MeitY, NeGD and NIC have been directed to appear on 24-11-2020. MeitY is taking necessary steps to comply with the orders of the CIC.

With regard to the above, it is clarified that there should be no doubt with regard to the AarogyaSetu App and its role in helping contain COVID-19 Pandemic in India. As was announced through Press Releases and Social Media posts on 2-04-2020, AarogyaSetu App was launched by Government of India in public-private partnership mode to bring people of India together in its fight against COVID19. The AarogyaSetu App was developed in a record time of around 21 days, to respond to the exigencies of the Pandemic with Lockdown restrictions only for the objective of building a Made in India Contact Tracing App with the best of Indian minds from Industry, Academia and Government, working round the clock to build a robust, scalable and secure App. Since 2-04-2020, regular press releases and updates have been issued on AarogyaSetu App including making the source code available in Open-domain on 26-05-2020. The names of all those associated with the development of the App and management of the App ecosystem at various stages was shared when the code was released in Open/Public Domain and the same was shared widely in media also.

The same can be accessed on On all such occasions, it has been clearly mentioned that the AarogyaSetu App has been developed by NIC in collaboration with volunteers from Industry and Academia. AarogyaSetu app has been developed in the most transparent manner and all details and documents including Privacy Policy and AarogyaSetu Data Access & Knowledge Sharing Protocols issued on 11th May 2020 has been uploaded on the AarogyaSetu Portal – The portal has all details about the App including those regarding How the App works, COVID updates and Why one should use AarogyaSetu. Regular updates about AarogyaSetu App have been shared on all Social media platforms as also Government portals. Several TV shows and media briefings also have shared complete details about the App, it’s development and how it is assisting the fight against COVID19.

As has been mentioned earlier, the App has been developed in a collaborative effort of Government and Private Sector. The App has been downloaded by more than 16.23 Cr users and has greatly augmented the efforts of front line health workers in the fight against COVID-19. It has helped identify Bluetooth contacts of COVID positive users and issued alerts for helping people to stay safe. These Bluetooth contacts have been advised for caution, quarantine or testing depending on the extent of exposure to COVID-19 positive user. Amongst those who have been advised testing, almost 25% have tested positive. This is much higher compared to the overall positivity rate of 7-8%. Thus, the efficiency of testing has gone up with AarogyaSetu. In addition, AarogyaSetu ITIHAS interface with location data has helped identify emerging hotspots where proactive steps have been taken by Health authorities and administration in order to contain the spread of the Virus. Thus, AarogyaSetu has proved to be very useful in India’s fight against COVID-19. Recently, WHO has also appreciated the role of AarogyaSetu in containing the pandemic in India.

Ministry of Electronics & IT

[Press Release dt. 28-10-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Ministry of Home Affairs issues the UNLOCK-3 Guidelines.


Metro Trains, Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, etc. to remain prohibited from re-opening.

Night Curfew

Restrictions on the movement of individuals during the night have been removed.

Gymnasiums, Yoga Institutes will be allowed to open from August 5, 2020.

Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 31 August, 2020.

List of permitted and prohibited activities under UNLOCK-3

New MHA guidelines

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued new guidelines today, for opening up of more activities in areas outside the Containment Zones. In Unlock 3, which will come into effect from August 1, 2020, the process of phased re-opening of activities has been extended further. The new guidelines, issued today, are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments.

Salient features of the new guidelines

  • Restrictions on movement of individuals during night (Night curfew) have been removed.
  • Yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to open from August 5, 2020. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
  • Independence Day functions will be allowed with social distancing and by following other health protocols, e.g., wearing of masks etc. In this regard instructions issued by MHA on 21.07.2020 shall be followed.
  • After extensive consultation with States and UTs, it has been decided that schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till August 31, 2020.
  • International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission.  Further opening up will take place in a calibrated manner.
  • All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones:
  1. Metro Rail.
  2. Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
  3. Social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.

Dates for opening of these will be decided separately, based on the assessment of the situation.

  • Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 31 August, 2020. Containment Zones are required to be carefully demarcated by the State/ UT Governments with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by MOHFW.  Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed.
  • These Containment Zones will be notified on the websites of the respective District Collectors and by the States/ UTs and information will also be shared with MOHFW.
  • Activities in the Containment Zones shall be monitored strictly by State and UT authorities, and the guidelines relating to containment measure in these zones shall be strictly implemented.
  • MOHFW will monitor the proper delineation of Containment Zones and implementation of the containment measures.

States to decide on activities outside Containment Zones

States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary. However, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.

National Directives for COVID-19 management

National Directives for COVID-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, with a view to ensure social distancing.  Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. MHA will monitor the effective implementation of National Directives.

Protection for vulnerable persons

Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

Use of Aarogya Setu

The use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged.

Click here to see MHA Order & Guidelines

[Source: PIB]

Ministry of Home Affairs

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Air travel of passengers, both domestic and international, has been prohibited since 25th March 2020. Now it has been decided by Government that domestic air travel of passengers shall resume with effect from 25th May, 2020 (order of MHA dated 20th May, 2020).

Accordingly, Ministry of Civil Aviation has developed general instructions and detailed guidelines for air travel of passengers and major stakeholders (Airlines, Airports, Security Agencies, Ground Handling Agencies and Health Authorities, etc.) by incorporating necessary safeguards in consultation with Experts and Stakeholders.

General Instructions:

a. On the day of commencement, limited operations (about 1/3d) would be permitted.

b. Further augmentation of lights will be done in a calibrated manner.

c. Vulnerable persons, such as very elderly, pregnant ladies, passengers with health issues are advised to avoid air travel.

d. No physical check-in at airport counters would be done. Only those passengers with confirmed web check-in shall be allowed to enter the airport.

e. Airlines should adhere to the lower and upper limits of fares prescribed by the Ministry during the period of COVID- t9 pandemic.

f. A self-declaration/ Aarogya Setu, App status (for compatible device) would also be obtained that the passenger is free of COVID-19 symptoms. Passengers with “Red” status on Aarogya Setu App would not be permitted to travel.

g. Passengers will be required to wear the protective gear (Face mask).

h. The airlines shall not provide meal services on board.

i. The cabin crew are required to be in full protective suit. Only one check-in bag will be allowed.

k. No newspaper or magazine shall be provided on board by the airlines.

l. Use of baggage trolleys has to be minimised.

m. Passengers should report at least two hours before the departure time.

n. Airline shall furnish the passengers manifest in the prescribed format to the State / UT Governments as per their requirement.

o. The detailed guideline to be followed by passengers is at Annexure-Il. For the sake of convenience of passengers, the guidelines have been divided into four parts.

1. Origin to airport.

2. At the airport.

3. In the aircraft.

4. From airpot to destination.

p. Specific operating guidelines are communicated for major stakeholders (Airlines, Airports, Ground Handling Agencies, etc.) is at Annexure-lll

Guidelines for Passengers

  • Familiarize with new procedures at the airports.Norms of social distancing, minimum touch, baggage limitations, COVID-19 declaration, registering on Aarogya Setu App, digital payments, use of authorized taxis. Expect slower processes and hence avoid last minute reaching the airport.
  • Web-Checkin and obtain boarding pass. Download baggage tag/baggage identification number.
  • Maximum on 1 check-in baggage and 1 hand baggage.
  • Passenger to continue to wear mask through the journey.
  • Reporting at the airport before 2 hours.
  • Passenger shall not travel if staying in a containment zone or if tested COVOD19 Positive.
  • Passengers expected to certify status of their health through Aarogya Setu App.
  • If passenger who is not permitted to fly undertakes journey , he/she shall be liable penal action.
  • Boarding pass to be issued only after declaration was made.

*To read the specific and detailed guidelines alongwith SOPs, please click on the link give below:


Ministry of Civil Aviation

COVID 19Hot Off The PressLegislation UpdatesNewsNotifications

1. With the extension of the Lockdown period for a further period of two weeks with effect from 4th May 2020, new guidelines, as under, will be applicable based on the risk profiling of the districts into Red (Hotspot), Green and Orange zones.

2. Identification of Red (Hotspots), Green and Orange Zones

I. Based on their risk profile, the criteria for dividing the districts of the country into three zones, viz., green, red and orange, will be as follows:

  1. Green Zones: Green Zones shall be defined as per the following criteria: districts with zero confirmed case til date; or; districts with no confirmed case in the last 21 days.
  2. Red Zones or Hotspot Districts: Districts shall be defined as Red Zones or Hotspot districts, by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India (Gol), taking into account total number of active cases, doubling rate of confirmed cases, extent of testing and surveillance feedback.
  3. Orange Zones: Districts, which are neither defined as Red nor as Green Zones, shall be Orange Zones.

II. MoHFW will share the list of Red Zone (Hotspot), Orange Zone and Green Zone districts and related information with State/ UTs on a weekly basis or earlier as required. States/ UTs, on review, may consider inclusion of additional districts as Red Zone (Hotspots) and Orange Zone districts depending on the extent of spread of COVlD-19 infection. However, States and UTs may not lower the classification of any district, that is included in the list of Red Zone (Hotspots) and Orange Zone districts by MoHFW.

III. Districts classified either as Red or Orange Zones, may have one or more Municipal Corporation (MC) areas. In such cases, States/ UTs and District administrations may make an assessment of the distribution of cases – within the jurisdiction of the MC(s); and the area falling outside the MC(s) boundaries. In such cases, the classification of zones shall be as follows:

A. in case the district is classified as a Red Zone, and, there is no confirmed case in the last 21 days in the area of the district outside the limits of the MC(s), this area may be labeled as an Orange Zone. However, due caution may be exercised in such areas so that they remain free from COVlD-19 cases.

B. In case the district is classified as an Orange Zone, and, there is no confirmed case in the last 21 days in the area of the district outside the limits of the MC(s), this area may be labeled as a Green Zone. However, due caution may be exercised in such areas so that they remain free from COVlD-19 cases.

C. In case in the area of the district outside the limits of the MC (5) does have one or more confirmed case(s) in the last 21 days, this part of the district shall continue to be labeled as a Red or Orange Zone, as per the classification of the district.

D. While assessing the classification of a zone, cases should be registered in the zone where the case originates, rather than where it is treated.

3. Identification of Containment Zones

I. Containment Zones shall be demarcated within Red (Hotspots) and Orange Zones by States/ UTs and District Administrations based on the guidelines of MoHFW. The boundary of the Containment Zone shall be defined by District Administrations taking into account the following factors: mapping of cases and contacts; geographical dispersion of cases and contacts; area with well demarcated perimeter; and enforceability.

II. The boundary of the Containment Zone will be a residential colony, mohalla, municipal ward, municipal zone, Police Station area, towns etc, in case of urban areas; and, a village, cluster of villages, Gram Panchayats, group of Police Stations, blocks etc., in case of rural areas.

Protocol within Containment Zones:

III. Intensive surveillance mechanism as outlined in the Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) issued by MoHFW is to be established within the Containment Zone. The local authority shall ensure 100% coverage of Aarogya Setu app among the residents of Containment Zones.

IV. In the Containment Zone, following activities shall be undertaken by the local authorities:

a. Contact Tracing.

b. Home or Institutional quarantining of individuals based on risk assessment by medical officers. This risk assessment will be based on symptoms, contact with confirmed cases, and travel history.

c. Testing of al cases with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), Influenza Like Illness (ILI) and other symptoms specified by MOHFW.

d. House to house surveillance by special teams constituted for this purpose.

e. Clinical management of al cases as per protocol.

f. Counselling and educating people; and establishing effective communication strategies.

V. In these Containment Zones, within Red (Hotspots) and Orange Zones, where maximum precaution is required, there shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of population in or out of these zones except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services. The guidelines issued in this regard by MoHFW will be strictly implemented by State/ UT Governments and the local district authorities.

4. The following activities will continue to remain prohibited across the country, irrespective of the Zone, for a period of two weeks with effect from 4th May, 2020:

I. All domestic and international air travel of passengers, except for medical services, air ambulance and for security purposes or for purposes as permitted by MHA.

II. All passenger movement by trains, except for security purposes or for purposes as permitted by MHA.

III. Inter-State Buses for public transport, except as permitted by MHA.

IV. Metro rail services.

V. Inter-State movement of individuals except for medical reasons or for activities as permitted by MHA.

VI. All schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc. However, online/ distance learning shall be permitted.

VII. Hospitality services other than those used for housing health/ police/ Government officials/ healthcare workers, stranded persons including tourists, and those used for quarantine facilities.

VIII. All cinema halls, shopping malls, gymnasiums, sports complexes, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.

IX. All social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ other gatherings.

X. All religious places/ places of worship shall be closed for public. Religious congregations are strictly prohibited.

5. Measures for well being and safety of persons

I. The movement of individuals, for al non-essential activities, shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm to 7 am. Local authorities shall issue orders under appropriate provisions of law, such as prohibitory orders [curfew] under Section 144 of CrPC, for this purpose, and ensure strict compliance.

II. In all zones, persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes, as per the National Directives.

III. In Containment Zones, Out-Patient Departments (OPDs) and Medical clinics shall not be permitted to operate. However, these may be permitted to operate in Red, Orange and Green Zones, with social distancing norms and other safety precautions.

6. Activities in Containment Zones

I. Strict perimeter control.
II.Establishment of clear entry and exit points.
III. Movement of persons only for maintaining supply of goods and services; and for medical emergencies.

IV. No unchecked influx of people and transport.

V. Recording of details of people moving in and out of perimeter.

7. Activities in Red Zones (Hotspots) [Outside Containment Zones]

I. Apart from the prohibited activities mentioned at Para 4, the following activities shall not be permitted:

a. Cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws.
b. Taxis and cab aggregators.
c. Intra—district and inter-district plying of buses. d. Barber shops, spas and salons.

II. The following activities shall be permitted with restrictions as specified:

a. Movement of individuals and vehicles, only for permitted activities. Four wheeler vehicles will have maximum two passengers besides the vehicle driver; for two wheelers, pillion rider is not allowed.

b.  Industrial establishments in urban areas: Only Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Export Oriented Units (EOUs), industrial estates and industrial townships with access control; Manufacturing units of essential goods, including drugs, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, their raw material and intermediates; Production units, which require continuous process, and their supply chain; Manufacturing of IT hardware; Jute industry with staggered shifts and social distancing; and, Manufacturing units of packaging material are permitted.

All industrial activities are permitted in rural areas.

c. Construction activities in urban areas: Only in situ construction (where workers are available on site and no workers are required to be brought in from outside) and construction of renewable energy projects are permitted.

All construction activities are permitted in rural areas.

d. All malls, market complexes and markets shall remain closed in urban areas, i.e., areas within the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities. However, shops selling essential goods in markets and market complexes are permitted.

All standalone (single) shops, neighborhood (colony) shops and shops in residential complexes are permitted to remain open in urban areas, without any distinction of essential and non-essential.

All shops in rural areas, except in malls, are permitted to remain open, without any distinction of essential and non-essential.

Social distancing (2 Gaz ki door!) will be maintained in all cases.

e. E-commerce activities will be permitted only in respect of essential goods.

f. Private offices can operate with upto 33% strength as per requirement, with the remaining persons working from home.

g. All Government offices shall function with officers of the level of Deputy Secretary and above to the extent of 100% strength. The remaining staff will attend upto 33% as per requirement. However, Defense and Security services, Health and Family Welfare, Police, Prisons, Home Guards, Civil Defence, Fire and Emergency Services, Disaster Management and related services, NIC, Customs, FCI, NCC, NYK and Municipal services shall function without any restrictions; delivery of public services shall be ensured and necessary staff will be deployed for such purpose.

8. Activities in Orange Zones [Outside Containment Zones]

i. Apart from the prohibited activities mentioned at Para 4, the following activities shall not be permitted:

a. Inter-district and Intra—district plying of buses.

ii. The following activities shall be permitted with restrictions as are specified:

a. Taxis and cab aggregators, with 1 driver and 2 passengers only.

b. Inter—district movement of individuals and vehicles, only for permitted activities. Four wheeler vehicles will have maximum 2 passengers besides the driver.

9. Activities in Green Zones

 i. All activities are permitted in Green Zones, except those activities that are prohibited under Para 4.
ii. Buses can operate with upto 50% seating capacity.
iii. Bus depots can operate with upto 50% capacity.
10. All other activities will be permitted activities, which are not specifically prohibited] permitted with restrictions in the various Zones, under these guidelines. However, States] UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, and with the primary objective of keeping the spread of COVID- 19 in check, may allow only select activities from out of the permitted activities, with such restrictions as felt necessary.
11. All States/ UTs shall allow inter-state movement of goods/ cargo, including empty trucks.
12. No State/ UT shall stop the movement of cargo for cross land—border trade under Treaties with neighbouring countries.
13. No separate/ fresh permissions are required from authorities for activities already permitted to operate under the guidelines on Lockdown measures up to May 3, 2020. The following Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) issued by MHA will continue to operate:

I. SOP on transit arrangement for foreign national(s) in India and release of quarantine persons, issued vide Order dated April 02, 2020.

II. SOP on movement of stranded labour within States/ UTs, issued vide Order dated April 19, 2020.

III. SOP on sign-on and sign—off of Indian seafarers, issued vide Order dated April 21, 2020.

IV. SOP on movement of stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons, issued vide Order dated April 29, 2020.

V. SOP on movement of stranded migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons by train, issued vide Order dated May 01, 2020.

14. Strict enforcement of the lockdown guidelines

State/ UT Governments shall not dilute these guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in any manner, and shall strictly enforce the same.

15. Instructions for enforcement of above lockdown measures:

i. All the district magistrates shall strictly enforce the above lockdown measures and the National Directives for COVID 19 Management, for public and work places, as specified in Annexure I.

ii. In order to implement these containment measures, the District Magistrate will deploy Executive Magistrates as Incident Commanders in the respective local jurisdictions. The Incident Commander will be responsible for the overall implementation of these measures in their respective jurisdictions. All other line department officials in the specified area will work under the directions of such Incident Commander. The Incident Commander will issue passes for enabling essential movements as explained.

iii. The Incident Commanders will in particular ensure that al efforts for mobilization of resources, workers and material for augmentation and expansion of hospital infrastructure shall continue without any hindrance.

16. Penal provisions

Any person violating these lockdown measures and the National Directives for COVID-19 Management will be liable to be proceeded against as per the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, besides legal action under Sec. 188 of the IPC, and other legal provisions as applicable. Extracts of these penal provisions are at Annexure lI.

*To access the Order, please click the following link:


Ministry of Home Affairs

[Order dt. 01-05-2020]