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Published On: Sat, May 30th, 2020

Centre extends nationwide lockdown in containment zones till June 30

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images (17)NEW DELHI : The Centre on Saturday extended the nationwide lockdown in containment zones up to June 30. This will be the5th consecutive extension of the nationwide lockdown and will come into effect once the current phase Lockdown 4.0 – ends on May 31.

The 5th extension of the nationwide lockdown, interestingly, will only be in the containment zones, which are specific geographical areas where positive cases of coronavirus are found. The Centre has allowed the opening of religious places of worship for public, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services, shopping malls from June 8.
There will be, however, no COVID-19 cases in India has jumped to 1.73,763 with over 82,000 patients cured or discharged. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the highest spike of 7,964 new COVID-19 cases and 265 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours in India. The total number of cases in the country is now at 1,73,763 including 86422 active cases, 82370 cured/discharged/migrated and 4971 deaths.
However, States will ultimately have the freedom to decide whether or not to open them or put suitable restrictions if they deem it necessary for containment of coronavirus, the new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs said. The guidelines also said that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) will issue a standard operating procedure for all these activities which are now being permitted.
In Lockdown 5.0, night curfew now from 9 pm – 5 am
According to the guidelines, night curfew shall remain in operation but its timings have been changed from the earlier 7 pm – 7 am to 9 pm – 5 am.
International air travel, Metro rail services prohibited. Some activities will, however, continue to remain prohibited, including “international air travel of passengers; operation of Metro Rail; cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations”.

The MHA, however, said, “In Phase III, dates for their opening will be decided based on assessment of the situation.” Malls, restaurants and religious places would open along with relaxation in night curfew in Lockdown 5.0. Places of worship, hotels to open from June 8.
Schools, colleges to open in phased manner. In Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and UTs, the guidelines added. There will be a strict lockdown in containment zones though.

Inter-state movement of persons, goods allowed but with caveat
It has also reiterated that there would be unrestricted movement of persons and goods across inter-state borders. “There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements,” MHA has said.
It has, however, given states the freedom to decide on public movement saying “if a State/ UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed.”
Night curfew will stay, but timings will be changed to 9 pm-5am from the existing 7 pm-7am. Cinemas, schools and international flights will reopen after an assessment in the next few weeks. A decision on reopening schools and colleges will be taken in July after consultations with states, parents and other stake-holders.

“The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus,” said the government, a day after GDP data showed the slowest pace of growth in 11 years and a big impact of the lockdown on the latest quarter. International flights, metros, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres and bars will also be allowed after more consultations in June “based on the assessment of the situation”, said the ministry.
Social, political, religious, cultural and other gatherings also stay banned for now, given the unabated need for physical distancing to check the infection. India has the ninth highest number of virus cases in the world, with over 1.7 lakh infected and close to 5,000 deaths.
Some 12 crore people lost jobs in April, according to estimates by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy. Attempting to revive economic activity, the government has been easing out of lockdown curbs since April 20 but travel restrictions and the mass movement of migrant workers pose a big challenge. Domestic flights and train services restarted earlier this month.
India’s worst-hit cities include its financial capital Mumbai, which has close to 700 containment zones, and Delhi, which has over 122.
(@With Agency Inputs),

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