Published: May 31, 2020 2:48:30 pm
Coronavirus India updates: On the last day of Lockdown 4.0, India registered its highest single-day spike of coronavirus cases Sunday with 8,380 new infections reported in the last 24 hours. The country’s tally is now 1,82,143, while the death toll rose to 5,164, according to the Union Health Ministry.
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Lockdown 5.0, set to commence from Monday, will essentially lift the curbs in a phased manner in areas outside the containment zones. Ministry of Home Affairs Saturday evening issued “unlocking 1 guidelines” limiting the lockdown only to containment zones for a month till June 30 and revising the night curfew hours from 9 pm to 5 am. It also allowed hotels, restaurants and shopping malls to open, besides permitting all inter and intra-state movement of public and goods from June 8.
States have, however, been given the freedom to prohibit certain activities or put suitable restrictions in their territories. At least three states including Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh have announced the extension of lockdown till 30 June while simultaneously allowing greater relaxations. Lockdown in West Bengal has been extended till 15 June.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday addressed the nation through his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ and said that the road ahead in the fight against the coronavirus was a long one. Highlighting the importance of greater vigilance as a major chunk of the economy has opened up he said “there should be no laxity in maintaining six feet distance, wearing masks and staying indoors as much as possible,”.
Tamil Nadu extends coronavirus lockdown till June 30
The Tamil Nadu government Sunday announced extension of the ongoing lockdown till June 30, albeit allowing more relaxations that included partially opening up public transport and allowing more employees at the workplace. Chief Minister K Palaniswami said the curbs on religious places, inter-state bus transport, and Metro and suburban rails would continue.
Public transport will resume with reduced services from June 1, but buses will not be operated in Chennai, Kancheepurm, Tiruvallur and Chengalpet districts having the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases in the state. Private stage carriers will be allowed to operate in authorised routes, Palaniswami said.
While the Centre has allowed shops and businesses outside containment zones to resume from June 1 onwards, Maharashtra is unlikely to allow economic and other activities to resume in one go in Mumbai and other red zones, even outside designated containment zones. Keen to avoid a new flare-up of cases, the state has plans to permit standalone shops to remain open only on two or three days of the week for now. As part of the state’s soon-to-be released revised lockdown guidelines, sources said that people will be advised to restrict shopping to neighbourhood shops and avoid travelling to distant market places.
Amarinder Singh extends lockdown in Punjab, indicated community spread
Indicating community spread of Covid-19 in Punjab, CM Amarinder Singh Saturday announced extension of lockdown in the state for another four weeks till June 30 adding that Lockdown 5.0 will be with more relaxations and the state was waiting for the guidelines from Centre to ease down the lockdown further.
“We had 23 new cases on Friday and 19 cases on Saturday which did not have a travel or contact history. These are the dangers of stage three of the virus. We have go be careful and cautious,” he said.
According to the fresh orders, the Chandigarh administration is all set to open hotels, restaurants, religious places, and malls in the first phase of opening the nationwide lockdown, from June 8 onwards, as per the guidelines issued by the Government of India. People will also be allowed to venture out from from 5 am to 9 pm, from June 1 onwards.
Lockdown extended till June 15 in West Bengal; malls, restaurants to reopen June 8
The West Bengal government on Saturday extended the Covid-19 lockdown till June 15, but eased more curbs a day after announcing the first round of relaxations. The government said the lockdown would continue in containment zones, but activities would be restarted in other areas.
The government announced that indoor and outdoor activities such as TV and cinema production — barring reality shows, but including those meant for OTT platforms — would be allowed in non-containment areas from June 1, with maximum 35 people per unit at a time. Shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels can reopen in these places from June 8.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday suggested that arrangements to send migrant labourers home were not made in the first phase of lockdown or earlier because the government wanted to protect them from Covid-19 and use the time to build health infrastructure in their home states.
“We are sensitive to the migrant workers. In the first month of the lockdown, our main concern was that even if the migrant workers face some difficulty, they should be protected from Covid 19, that these people leave gradually. And when they do, all facilities in their home state are in place, the hospitals are in good shape, the quarantine facilities and doctors are ready. So we started their movement from May 1,” Shah said in an interview to Aaj Tak.
As industries open, 65000 Haryana migrants drop plans to go home
With industries opening up in Haryana following the relaxation in lockdown restrictions, almost 65,000 migrant workers in the state have decided against returning to their home states.
According to officials, besides the resumption of industrial activities, many migrant labourers do not wish to return now as they work with farmers and are eyeing work opportunities in the upcoming paddy sowing season.
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