The fourth phase of the lockdown 4.0 will end on Sunday. Though the number of coronavirus cases is rising in the country at a significant pace, the central government might ease out the restrictions in the fifth phase of the lockdown.
According to a report by news agency PTI, the central government will likely retain a limited role and allow states and union territories to make decisions on whether to tighten or give additional relaxations in the nationwide lockdown in their respective jurisdictions from June 1. The Centre might also advise state authorities to continue with strict curbs in COVID-19 containment zones in the worst-affected 30 municipal areas that account for 80 per cent of the positive cases in the country.
According to a Hindustan Times report, several states are reportedly considering the imposition of restrictions only in the containment zones and allowing a range of activities elsewhere, including opening more markets, enabling more inter-state transport facilities, allowing more commercial activity, and possibly even religious places.
As lockdown 4.0 nears an end, here’s what states are expecting in the fifth phase of the lockdown:
According to a PTI report, the state government is considering allowing the opening of neighbourhood religious places, shops in malls on odd-even basis and extension of market timings after May 31.
The state government, however, is not in favour of allowing cinema halls, schools and colleges to open after May 31, when the fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown would end
Maharashtra, however, is not in favour of lifting restrictions. The state has been the worst affected area in the country. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has hinted that restrictions will continue in the state, especially in hotspots in Mumbai and Pune.
According to News 18 report, the Uttar Pradesh government is considering on reopening of places of worship, Lucknow metro services in a guarded manner, more shops and markets, and malls in the state. However, a decision will be taken after the guidelines issued by the Centre.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has said that he has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him that Karnataka be allowed to reopen temples, mosques, churches and other religious places in the state.
Meanwhile, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said that he spoke to Home Minister Amit Shah on the phone, adding that he feels that the lockdown may be extended for 15 more days. He, however, has demanded that there should be some relaxations – restaurants should be allowed to function with social distancing at 50 per cent capacity.
Several other states – Rajasthan, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Odisha – are considering relaxations in the fifth phase of the lockdown.
The nationwide lockdown was first announced by the Prime Minister on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. It was first extended till May 3 and then again till May 17. The lockdown has been further extended till May 31.
While extending the fourth phase of the lockdown from May 18 till May 31, the central government had announced the continuation of a prohibition on the opening of schools, colleges and malls but allowed the opening of shops and markets.
The government, however, allowed limited operations of the train and domestic flights. The Indian Railways is also running special trains since May 1 for transportation of migrant workers from different parts of the country to their native states.
According to the latest information available at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the deadly coronavirus has affected over 1.73 lakh and claimed the lives of almost 5,000 in India so far.