Indian govt exempts agriculture-farming, allied activities from Covid-19 lockdown


Migrant workers trying to board a crowded bus as they return to their villages, during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of the coronavirus outbreak, in Ghaziabad, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, on Sunday (March 29). - Reuters

NEW DELHI: Indian government has exempted agriculture-farming and allied activities from the ongoing lockdown imposed in the wake of Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

"Government has granted relaxation in the nationwide lockdown for activities related to agriculture-farming and allied activities with a view to address problems being faced by the farming community. This will also ensure uninterrupted harvesting of crops," reads a statement issued by the federal ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare.

According to the officials, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar has been constantly monitoring issues related to farmers ever since the lockdown was enforced.

Officials said the decision will allow unhindered harvesting of crops.

Categories exempted from the lockdown include agencies engaged in procurement of agriculture products, markets operated by the agriculture produce market committee, farming operations by farmers and farm workers in the field, manufacturing and packaging units of fertilisers, pesticides and seed, and intra and inter-state movement of harvesting and sowing related machines.

So far 25 people have died because of the novel coronavirus in India and the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases on Sunday (March 29) rose to 979.

Indian government Wednesday began the 21-day lockdown across the country in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.

Authorities have imposed strict curfew-like restrictions to prevent the movement of people.

All road, rail and air services have been suspended in wake of the lockdown, except essential services that have been exempted. - Xinhua/Asian News Network
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