The Centre’s three-phase unlock plan that will restrict curbs to containment zones kicks in from today after the end of the fourth phase of the national lockdown, even as India climbed to the 7th spot from the 9th on 10 countries worst-hit by COVID-19.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cautioned people against showing any laxity in the fight against coronavirus and asked them to be “extra alert and careful”, while acknowledging that the poor and labourers have been hit the hardest by the crisis. “Becoming careless or lackadaisical cannot be an option”.
With the Centre seeking to underline the reduced footprint of the unprecedented lockdown in force since 25 March, its strategy revolves around localised lockdowns leaving it to states to decide where, how and to what extent to lift the shutdown as the number of COVID-19 cases varied from state to state. The phased reopening of areas outside the containment zones will be effective till 30 June.
The Home Ministry on Saturday said ‘Unlock-1’ will come in force from 8 June under which the lockdown norms will be relaxed to a great extent, including opening of shopping malls, restaurants and religious places, while strict restrictions will remain in place till 30 June in the country’s worst-hit areas. A total of 30 municipality areas in the country are considered to be the worst-hit.
The Maharashtra government while announcing the extension of the lockdown in the entire state till 30 June, preferred to call the new phase of reopening as “Mission Begin Again”. It allowed many relaxations and phase-wise resumption of activities. All markets, market areas and shops, except malls, will be allowed to open in Maharashtra from 5 June on the odd-even basis in non-containment zones.
However, religious places, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants will continue to remain closed. In a sign of further reduction of curbs, the Railways will run 200 special passenger trains from today.
A NITI Aayog official has tested positive for coronavirus. The third floor of the office in Delhi has been sealed, sanitisation underway, sources said.
Andhra Pradesh reports 76 new coronavirus positive cases and two deaths in last 24 hours. Total number of positive cases stand at 3,118 and death toll is at 64.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Delhi borders will be sealed for the next one week. “Essential services are exempted. We will take a decision again in one week to open borders after suggestions from citizens,” he said.
Kejriwal has sought the opinion of people from Delhi on whether the capital should open borders or not. “I need your suggestion on this matter. Give your responses by 5pm Friday,” he said.
The total number of police personnel who have been infected with coronavirus in Maharashtra police, goes up to 1,514, with 93 new cases and another death in 24 hours.