It's been a month since all/almost all states in India went into lockdowns and prohibited any kind of movement or work that isn't essential services. And while we know that medical emergencies, food, etc. are essential services, here's a list of a few other activities that even we didn't know qualify as essential services.
1. Central Vista project
India's capital is under lockdown due to a massive surge in cases and only construction projects which have workers staying on the site are permitted to operate as per guidelines. But an exception has been made for the Central Vista project, which has been declared an “essential service”.
A report by NDTV suggests that labourers are being ferried to work by a special bus to ensure that work on the prestigious project doesn't stop.
2. Flying abroad in private jets just before lockdown
As reports of hospital bed and medicine shortages emerged in India and there came a possiblity of another lockdown, rich Indian who could afford millions of rupees flew off to the UK and Dubai in private jets.
All this at a time when most countries have banned flights to and from India and even states have advised people not to travel unless absolutely necessary. Most states also made it mandatory to carry a negative RT-PCR report or travel passes.
3. Vaccines for VIPs
Currently only people above the age of 45 are eligible for vaccincation in India. Several cities witnessed a huge shortage of vaccines and people are struggling to get themselves vaccinated.
While vaccines will be available to those between 18 to 45 years from 1st May, if you are a VIP or related to a VIP in some way, like former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis' 22-year-old nephew , you can receive the COVID vaccine despite being ineligible.
4 international players and one Indian player have already pulled out of the IPL over safety concerns and fear of travel bans by foreign countries. But BCCI has issued a statement that the tournament will go on irrespective and BCCI CEO Hemang Amin assured the players by saying:
The BCCI will do everything to ensure that you reach your respective destinations seamlessly. The BCCI is monitoring the situation very closely and is working with the government authorities to make arrangements to get you home once the tournament concludes. Be rest assured that the tournament is not over for BCCI till each one of you has reached your home, safe and sound.
5. Election rallies
While India banned all kinds of public gatherings and events, political parties held several rallies in West Bengal until last week. Similar events were held in Telangana as parties campaigned for the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation elections.
Telangana BJP President, Bandi Sanjay Kumar campaigned for the Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation elections in Warangal, yesterday. pic.twitter.com/F39ivpp2xL— ANI (@ANI) April 27, 2021
6. Travelling to Maldives
While inter-state and intra-state travel required all sorts of permissions and negative RT-PCR tests, Bollywood celebs flew to Maldives amidst a raging pandemic because it was so essential to get away from their mansions in India.
Maldives banned Indian tourists recently.
7. Weddings and parties
Despite a surge in COVID cases, an MLA from Rajasthan’s Dungarpur district hosted a big fat wedding party in the presence of a huge crowd flouting all Covid guidelines. There have been reports of hotels and restaurants across country being sealed for organizing parties.
We need to understand that staying at home is our safest bet against COVID. Stay home, stay safe.