Updated: June 27, 2020 10:02:52 pm
As coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country, several states including Jharkhand, West Bengal and Assam have reimposed lockdowns in some of their districts in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
On Saturday, the total number of Covid-19 infections crossed the 5 lakh-mark to reach 5,08,953 including 1,97,387 active cases and 2,95,881 recoveries. As many as 15,685 people have succumbed to the disease. While it took 110 days for the infection to reach one lakh in the country, it crossed the five lakh-mark in just 39 days. India has reported over 1 lakh cases in the last six days, according to the Health Ministry, which also said nearly 60 per cent patients have recovered.
Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Telangana have reported the maximum number of cases. An increase in the number of tests at a much faster pace is a key reason behind the quick rise in infections.
Here’s the list of states that have announced further extension of lockdown:
Assam announces 14-day ‘total lockdown’ in Guwahati
The Assam government on Friday announced a stringent 14-day lockdown in Kamrup Metropolitan district — which includes Guwahati city — from Sunday evening. Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said practically “nothing except pharmacies, laboratories and hospitals will remain open” from June 28 to July 12.
Announcing the lockdown, Sarma said grocery and fruit-vegetable stores would not be allowed to open in Guwahati. While the first seven days would see the most stringent curbs, Sarma said they could consider certain relaxations after that, depending on the situation.
Claiming there was no other choice, Sarma referred to the spike of Covid-19 in Guwahati. Since June 15, no travel history has been found in around 700 cases in the city, indicating community transmission. Of Assam’s total 6,600 Covid-19 cases, 2,600-odd remain active. The state has reported 10 deaths. The spike in its cases coincides with increased testing, with Assam now doing 15,000-odd tests a day.
West Bengal extends lockdown till July 31
Last week, the West Bengal government extended lockdown with the current relaxations till July 31. The current spell of the lockdown was to end on June 30.
Announcing the decision after presiding an all-party meeting, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “Many parties expressed different opinions on tackling the coronavirus pandemic… But we decided to extend the lockdown… We are saying that since the Covid-19 cases are increasing in the entire country, it is our responsibility to help improve the situation…”
Schools, colleges and all other education institutes will stay closed till July 31. While government offices can function in a “segregated manner” with 70 per cent attendance and employees following social distancing norms, the metro and suburban train services will continue to remain suspended. Further, the night curfew will be relaxed by an hour from July 1.
On Friday, the Chief Minister urged the Centre to stop international repatriation flights and domestic flights to Kolkata from states with a high COVID-19 prevalence till July 31.
Jharkhand extends lockdown till July 31
The Jharkhand government extended the lockdown till July 31 to contain the spread of COVID-19. “Considering the seriousness of the situation, the state government has decided to extend the lockdown till July 31,” Chief Minister Hemant Soren said in a tweet.
The extension order shall come into force with immediate effect, Chief Secretary Sukhdev Singh said, adding that the movement of individuals shall continue to remain prohibited between 9 pm and 5 am. “All activities permitted prior to this order shall remain permitted. The activities to remain prohibited are closure of schools, colleges, educational, training and coaching institutions, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls, shopping malls…,” the order said.
Interstate and intrastate bus services, hotels, lodges, inns and dine-in restaurants will not be in operation during this period, it added. Spas, salons and barber shops will continue to remain closed till July-end.
Apart from these three states, Delhi said schools would not be permitted to reopen till July 31. Hyderabad traders took a decision themselves to keep markets closed till July 5 to curb the spread of the virus. Tamil Nadu, meanwhile, imposed a “total lockdown” in five districts till the end of the month. The CM will hold a meeting on Monday to review the situation.
Delhi keeps schools shut till July 31
All schools in the capital will continue to remain closed till July 31, announced Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Friday. Schools have been shut since mid-March, following which most of them turned to learning through online means. Summer vacations, which began across the city in May, are scheduled to end on June 30 for most schools, including Delhi government schools. Schools will now return to remote learning.
Hyderabad traders opt for self-imposed time restrictions
While Telangana has not made any announcement about the extension of the lockdown, several markets have voluntarily closed in Hyderabad due to the rising cases of the novel coronavirus. The Hyderabad Kirana Merchants Association decided to close the Begum Bazaar, the largest in the city, from June 28 till July 5. The ever-bustling markets around Charminar has also closed due to the pandemic.
Even though they are facing losses, shop owners are in support of the voluntary closure. “The infection is spreading fast. If we keep the shops closed, people won’t come and spread the virus. We are facing losses, but this is for the greater good. Shopkeepers will be safe and so will people,” D Bansilal, a bangles shop owner, said.
Tamil Nadu lockdown in five districts, including Chennai, till June 30
Five districts of Tamil Nadu are in lockdown till the month end, including Chennai, Kancheepuram, Chengalpet and Thiruvallur and Madurai. Only essential services are allowed in these districts. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is expected to hold a review meeting with health officials next week to take stock of the situation in the state.
Meanwhile, Palaniswami Wednesday suspended public transportation within zones until June 30 across the state. After holding a discussion with district collectors, he said the decision had been taken as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.
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