Restaurants, groceries, petrol and diesel, and medical services, among other essential services and commodities, will remain available during the COVID-19-related lockdown announced by the Centre on Sunday. The government has instructed the States to issue orders placing unprecedented restrictions in 80 districts across 17 States and five Union Territories in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus.

COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

The government has notified a list of essential services and commodities, which can broadly be separated into four categories:

Food and products: Groceries, fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy-related products, loading and unloading of wheat and rice at FCI and State food depots, cattle feed and fodder.

Medical: Medicines and other pharmaceuticals, health services, manufacturing of health and medical equipment.

Other Services: Newspapers, banks and ATMs, post offices, telecom, petrol and diesel pumps

Household services: Electricity and water supply, sanitary services, LPG supply

Meanwhile, telecom operators have reached out to 12 video streaming platforms, including Hotstar and Netflix, to implement measures such as reducing video quality to Standard Definition (SD) to ease the stress on the networks.

The Hindu has brought out an e-book on essential COVID-19 information, in addition to covering the developments related to the coronavirus pandemic as it unfolded. Experts have answered your queries about the virus. We also have a list of State Helpline numbers, and a map of confirmed cases in India. The new 24/7 national helpline numbers are 1075 and 1800-112-545 and  011-23978046, and the email is

Here is detailed list of what is excluded from the lockdown and what services are likely to be affected:

What is excluded from the lockdown

  • Food outlets, ration shops, shops selling milk, vegetables, groceries, meat, fish, and fruits, markets, and supply of cooking gas
  • Transportation of all goods
  • Police, and Fire and Emergency Services
  • Government offices, ULBs and PR institution offices, postal services
  • Electricity, water, and municipal services
  • Banks/ATMs, telecom services. Banks will provide only essential services like cash deposit and withdrawal, clearing of cheques, remittances and government transactions. Mobile and Internet banking will work.
  • Home delivery of food, pharmacies, and supply of medical equipment
  • Takeaway from restaurants
  • Shops and markets related to agriculture, sericulture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries
  • Canteen services provided by government and local bodies

What will be affected

  • All shops, commercial establishments, workshops, godowns dealing in non-essential services
  • All labour-intensive industries to work at 50% strength on rotation by ensuring social distancing
  • All IT and biotechnology units will ensure work from home except where it is not feasible
  • AC bus services of RTCs and private operators
  • Inter-State and inter-district services will not be operated from COVID-19 affected districts

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