Conditional Lockdown Relief Likely after May 3

PTI22-03-2020_000097BNEW DELHI: There may be conditional relief from nationwide lockdown after May 3, sources said. But, people in the least affected parts of country might get relief In Green Zones . The assessment by a group of ministers will be taken up this evening. A reprieve is likely only in “green zones” or the areas that have the fewest cases of COVID-19.
Currently, there are no talks about extending the lockdown, but rules pertaining to social distancing and masks will remain.Masks will remain mandatory for a long time.

The Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to chair the exit plan after the lockdown was extended to May 3 by the government. The sources said the lockdown might not be extended but trains, flights and inter-state traffic may not resume till May 15.

“Social distancing and masks has to become a way of life. These will be mandatory for a long time now,” sources said. Travel within districts or cities is likely to be allowed. While residents may be allowed to step out of their homes, but they cannot do so without masks and maintaining social distancing.
According to sources the restrictions are likely to continue in areas marked as containment zones because of a large number of coronavirus cases. These zones are likely to be reassessed from time to time.
Offices may also be allowed to function under the same principles and curbs, sources say. Gatherings will, however, stay banned; weddings, religious congregations and other big meetings are unlikely to be allowed very soon. An exit plan and a roadmap beyond the lockdown will specifically focus on the way ahead for the worst-hit cities, Mumbai, Delhi, Noida and Indore, to name a few.

Any easing of restrictions in cities with a high number of COVID-19 cases is likely to be reexamined only after May 15, the sources say.
India has 18,601 coronavirus cases; 590 have died. The rate of recovery has improved significantly over the past seven days.

Last week, the government’s circular listed that some industries will be allowed from April 20 in non-affected areas to help the battered economy.But some states clarified the restrictions will remain imposed till the lockdown ends.Captain Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government had  said only wheat procurement will be allowed and a call on relaxing curbs will be taken after May 3.

Like India, several countries have imposed a lockdown, but WHO Chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it doesn’t mean the war has been won.
“Ending the epidemic will require a sustained effort on the part of individuals, communities, and governments to continue suppressing and controlling this deadly virus. So-called lockdowns can help to take the heat out of a country’s epidemic,” he said today.

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