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Lockdown extended till May 17; curbs stay on public transport

Long wait ends:Migrant workers waiting on the IIT-Hyderabad campus to board a special train early on Friday to return to their home State of Jharkhand.Mohd Arif

Long wait ends:Migrant workers waiting on the IIT-Hyderabad campus to board a special train early on Friday to return to their home State of Jharkhand.Mohd Arif  

Private cars, cabs to be allowed with fewer riders; buses with 50% commuters

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday issued new guidelines allowing considerable relaxations across red, orange and green zones, based on the evidence of COVID-19 infection, even though it extended the countrywide lockdown till May 17.

The lockdown, imposed first on March 24 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, was to end on May 3.

The MHA asked local authorities to ensure 100% coverage of the Aarogya Setu app among the residents in the containment zones. The National Directive for COVID-19 management said use of the Aarogya Setu application is to be mandatory for all employees, both private and public and “it should be the responsibility of the head of organisation to ensure 100% coverage of this App among the employees”.

In green zones, buses can operate with up to 50% seating capacity and bus depots can operate with up to 50% capacity, the MHA said.

In orange zones, taxis and cab aggregators will be permitted to ply with only one passenger. Inter-district movement of vehicles will be allowed in orange zones for permitted activities and cars could have maximum two passengers besides the driver, and pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheelers.

In red zones, other than the containment zones, private cars will be allowed only for permitted activities with a maximum of two persons other than the driver but no pillion riders in two-wheelers. Irrespective of zones, however, all forms of other public transport — air, rail, metro and inter-State movement by road — will remain suspended except those allowed in select cases.

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