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MHA exempts agricultural produce, Anganwadi, AYUSH services delivery from lockdown

NEW DELHI: Services involved in direct marketing of agricultural produce, ‘Anganwadi’ workers and AYUSH related health facilities are exempted from the countrywide lockdown enforced to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Centre told states on Thursday.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote to the chief secretaries clarifying that people and logistics involved in the running of these services will be exempted on the lines of other essential services.

These services include distribution of food items and nutrition support by Anganwadi workers, once in 15 days, at the doorsteps of beneficiaries like children, women and lactating mothers.

Those involved in direct marketing of farm produce, with assistance from government authorities, hospital and related medical services under AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) and manufacturing and packaging of drugs under this category have also been exempted as per the latest directive.

“However, as specified in the lockdown measures, social distancing and proper hygiene practices must be ensured,” the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) directive said.

The district authorities and field agencies, it said, may please be informed on the directions accordingly, so as to avoid ambiguity at the ground level, it said.