Haryana is going to ease restrictions, at least in some districts, in the coming days, as the Centre is considering extending the lockdown beyond April 14 for the next two weeks.
The state shall be divided in three categories and the districts with negligible number of coronavirus cases will have maximum relaxations, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced on Saturday after participating in a video conference call with prime minister Narendra Modi.
Khattar, however, added that restrictions on movement of people shall continue to remain in force. “Prime minister has said that it is difficult to stop economic activities of any states. He has given indications that we shall enforce this lockdown in phased manner,” Khattar said.
“Face mask is compulsory across Haryana. Consider that a mask is now as essential as clothes on our bodies,” he added.
Further elaborating on the lockdown exit strategy, Khattar said that social distancing committees would be constituted and the entire state would be divided into three zones—
1. Red zone – The areas where COVID-19 patients are in large numbers. For instance, as of April 11, four districts of Gurugram, Faridabad, Palwal and Nuh shall be in Red zone. “We shall be required to impose strict restrictions in these areas to curtail any further spread of coronavirus,” he said, adding remaining 18 districts would be divided into two zones.
2. Orange zone– It will include districts that are vulnerable zones where the virus spread is lesser and infections are lower, shall be included in this category.
3. The third category includes districts that have negligible coronavirus cases.
“The categorisation of cities and specific areas shall be done in a phased manner and lock-in conditions will have to be followed to ensure social distancing is maintained in the state,” he further said.
Khattar said that factories, MSMEs and small industries can be allowed to function if they provide food and accommodation to their workforce on the premises and to ensure the same, social distancing committees shall look into all aspects before approving any establishment to function. These committees will be formed at district levels and the government would provide approvals to them.
“Construction activities can also be allowed, if the builders and colonies ensure social distancing norms for their workforce,” the chief minister said. Builders would also be required to give affidavits to the committees, he added.
Essential commodities shops shall be opened for longer durations and banks would also be allowed to operate in staggered time slots, Khattar announced.
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