Business Standard
What is a Lockdown ?


About Lockdown

What is a Lockdown ?

On March 24, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his address to the nation that the entire country would be in a complete lockdown for 21 days to check the spread of coronavirus. He said it was not a curfew, but, given the seriousness of the matter, it should be treated as no less.
So, what is a lockdown?
A lockdown is an emergency protocol that prevents people from leaving a given area. A full lockdown will mean you must stay where you are and not exit or enter a building or the given area. This scenario usually allows for essential supplies. All non-essential activities remain shut for the entire period.
Difference between lockdown, Section 144 and curfew
While a lockdown prevents people from leaving an area, Section 144 limits the number of people who can gather together in public, and curfew prohibits people from leaving their homes for a specific period.
What is Section 144?
Section 144 of the Indian penal code states that a gathering of four or more people is prohibited in the area concerned. If a gathering of four or more people is found, every member of the group can be charged for engaging in a riot.
Section 144 is imposed in urgent cases of nuisance or to control the danger of some event that has the potential to cause trouble or damage to human life or property.
What is a curfew?
A curfew is an order specifying a time during which certain regulations apply. Typically, it refers to the time when individuals are required to return to and stay in their homes.
When was India put under a lockdown and why
On March 24, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic which had claimed 10 lives in India until then and infected 509. With this, India's 1.3 billion citizens were ordered to stay at home, unless inevitable.
While imposing the lockdown, PM Modi said: "It took 67 days for the number of infected cases to rise to 100,000. But, it took only 11 days for the next 100,000 cases to emerge, and just four days for the next 100,000. This indicates the speed at which coronavirus is spreading."
What the 21-day lockdown means in the context of India's fight against Covid-19
In India, the restrictions on the movement and services were enforced by state governments, after advisories from the Centre. These restrictions derive their legal basis from the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. Under the coronavirus lockdown, essential supplies and grocery stores, pharmacies and banks will be open for public. All non-essential activities will remain shut for the entire period.
— Essential activities include: Buying groceries and medical supplies and visit to the doctor in case of medical emergencies
— What is shut: Private and government offices, religious institutions, schools, colleges,
— What’s open: Hospitals, dispensaries, chemist shops, ration shops under PDS, offices of print and electronic media, etc
Laws govt invoked to impose lockdown to fight a disease
The Disaster Management Act: The stated object and purpose of the DM Act is to manage disasters, including preparation of mitigation strategies, capacity-building and more. In the popular imagination, a disaster is usually associated with a natural calamity such as a cyclone or an earthquake. Even the definition of a “disaster” in Section 2 (d) of the Disaster Management Act states that a disaster means a “catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area, arising from natural or man-made causes…”.
To address the current epidemic outbreak, the central government has included the Covid-19 outbreak as “Notified Disaster” as a “critical medical condition or pandemic situation”.
The Epidemic Diseases Act: Under this law, the central government as well as state governments have the power to take special measures and prescribe regulations to prevent the spread of a “dangerous epidemic disease”.
An example of this would be the order on March 16 under the Delhi Epidemics Diseases, Covid-19 Regulations, 2020, whereby the Delhi government restricted gatherings with groups of more than 50 persons till March 31.
Lockdown across the world to battle coronavirus
China’s Wuhan, where the coronavirus first appeared, was locked down for more than six weeks, and many other Chinese cities faced travel restrictions.
Other than India and China, France, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, and the UK implemented the world's largest and most restrictive mass quarantines.
As of March 25, the novel coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic had spread to at least 190 countries, infecting nearly 425,000 people across the globe, and claiming over 18,990 lives.

Latest Updates on Lockdown

New case of Covid XBB 1.5 strain found, total variant cases now 8: INSACOG

1 min read Last Updated :Jan 09 2023 | 4:48 PM IST
Japan reports all-time high 456 coronavirus deaths in a single day

2 min read Last Updated :Jan 06 2023 | 3:17 PM IST
China could face deluge of Covid deaths in new year without pandemic curbs

4 min read Last Updated :Dec 30 2022 | 8:58 AM IST
RT-PCR report of passengers from China, 4 other nations must: Official

2 min read Last Updated :Dec 29 2022 | 12:29 AM IST
Statsguru: Covid-19 fears return; vaccination rates still low in India

2 min read Last Updated :Dec 26 2022 | 12:15 AM IST
Travellers in a fix over govt announcement of mandatory RT-PCR testing

2 min read Last Updated :Dec 25 2022 | 7:09 PM IST
'Mask up': PM Modi cautions against complacency at crucial Covid meet

4 min read Last Updated :Dec 23 2022 | 12:10 AM IST
Mask up, take the jab, Covid is not over yet, Centre cautions citizens

4 min read Last Updated :Dec 21 2022 | 11:37 PM IST
China's economy braces for turmoil as Covid curbs ease, infections surge

6 min read Last Updated :Dec 15 2022 | 11:36 PM IST
Beijing's Covid gloom deepens as China relaxes curbs after protests

3 min read Last Updated :Dec 12 2022 | 12:44 AM IST
End of Covid Zero policy threatens to overwhelm China with infections

9 min read Last Updated :Dec 09 2022 | 7:42 AM IST
Best of BS Opinion: Winning ways, the end of Covid Zero, and more

1 min read Last Updated :Dec 09 2022 | 6:34 AM IST
The end of Covid Zero

3 min read Last Updated :Dec 08 2022 | 10:37 PM IST
China's trade weakens to worst since first Covid lockdown as demand falls

3 min read Last Updated :Dec 07 2022 | 10:57 AM IST
RBI monetary policy: Pace of tightening set to slow

4 min read Last Updated :Dec 02 2022 | 11:57 PM IST
Pharma, consumer durables sectors likely to feel China curb heat

3 min read Last Updated :Dec 03 2022 | 12:24 AM IST
Beijing sees record Covid cases at 5,006 as China wows small easing steps

3 min read Last Updated :Dec 01 2022 | 9:21 AM IST
China's iPhone city Zhengzhou sends 870 workers away without notice

2 min read Last Updated :Nov 26 2022 | 2:16 PM IST
China logs 35,909 new Covid cases in a day, third consecutive daily record

2 min read Last Updated :Nov 26 2022 | 11:38 AM IST
Korea thought it was ready for Covid, now it's eyeing the next threat

6 min read Last Updated :Nov 25 2022 | 2:06 PM IST