Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said there was no need for people to panic as shops selling essentials and medicines will remain open throughout the 21-day lockdown imposed to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
He also said there were sufficient legal provisions available to deal with black marketeers and hoarders.
Javadekar was referring to the lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Addressing the media about the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet, he said the Centre and the state governments are working together to effectively implement the lockdown and ensure people do not suffer.
He described the cooperation between the Centre and the states as a fine example of cooperative federalism.
Responding to a question of some resident welfare associations asking doctors and even journalists either not to venture out or vacate their apartment, he said such an action was not appreciated.
He recalled that during 'janta curfew' on Sunday, people had clapped for those at the forefront of fighting the virus.
"The society should understand," he said.He said the Cabinet also discussed the coronavirus outbreak, but did not give details.
He said though social distancing in 21 days will end daily social activity of many, it was essential to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
He said the need of the hour was to protect yourself and your dear ones.
The number of coronavirus cases in India topped 600 on Wednesday