Coronavirus | Lockdown likely to be extended till May 30

There may be considerable relaxations in green, orange zones.

May 15, 2020 09:10 pm | Updated 09:16 pm IST - New Delhi

Rapid Action Force (RAF) with Pune police march along Satara road in Pune city amid Government imposed nationwide Lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, on May 15, 2020.

Rapid Action Force (RAF) with Pune police march along Satara road in Pune city amid Government imposed nationwide Lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, on May 15, 2020.

The lockdown is likely to be extended till May 30 with considerable relaxations in the green and orange zones. An announcement to this effect is likely to be made on Saturday, officials told The Hindu .

Also read: Coronavirus India lockdown Day 52 live updates | May 15, 2020

An official said lockdown 4.0 would be more about implementing its “spirit” than imposing restrictions.

The current third phase of the lockdown, which was imposed first on March 24 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic , ends on May 17.

Metro rail services in cities would continue to remain suspended as most routes fall in the containment zones, which would continue to be under “curfew-like” conditions.

Also read: Coronavirus lockdown | Complete exit from lockdown not possible, Modi tells CMs

Suggestions from States

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought suggestions from the State governments and they were asked to convey their views by 5 p.m. Friday.

“The suggestions from most States has been received and they have advocated an extension of the lockdown. Every official is concerned that if the lockdown is lifted in one go, the number of COVID-19 cases could spike. The medical infrastructure cannot deal with that kind of pressure”, said the official.

Also read: Coronavirus lockdown | Mathematical model estimates staggered resumption may cut peak hospitalisations by 50%

The guidelines to be followed during lockdown 4.0 would be finalised by the Prime Minister and released by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday.

Air travel

The Union government was in favour of opening select routes for air travel but several States were opposed to the idea. “Ultimately, the States receiving and sending the passenger will have to decide. They are still reluctant but there are many cases where people are genuinely stuck and have to take the journey. May be, airline seats will come at a premium, as social distancing, such as keeping the middle seats vacant, will have to be followed”, said the official.

Also read: Coronavirus lockdown | Narendra Modi announces ₹20-lakh-crore economic stimulus package

Buses would not be allowed in the red zones. Autorickshaws and cab aggregators were likely to be allowed in all the zones with maximum two passengers. Malls would continue to remain shut with few shops being allowed.

“Trains will continue to operate on the current model, only allowed on special routes. It will not be a free for all,” said the official.

“The issue of migrants walking on the road is a big issue. The States have been asked to utilise around ₹11,092 crore released to them under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for their welfare,” the official noted.

Also read: Coronavirus lockdown | Domestic flights may resume soon | COVID-19 | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

The zones

The green zones are districts with either zero confirmed cases till date, or no confirmed case in the last 21 days.

The red zones are defined as per the total number of active cases, doubling rate of confirmed cases, extent of testing and surveillance feedback from the districts.

Watch | What's allowed and what's not in red, green and orange zones | COVID-19 | Under which zone does your district lie?

The districts, which are neither defined as red nor green, shall be classified as orange zones.

Presently, irrespective of zones, all forms of public transport- air, rail, metro and inter-State movement by road are suspended except those allowed in select cases.

Currently, private offices can open with 33% workforce and masks and social distancing are compulsory.

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