Lockdown 5.0: These 13 cities could see stricter curbs
As India nears the end of the fourth phase of the coronavirus lockdown, the Centre is preparing guidelines for "Lockdown 5.0." According to reports, the next phase of the lockdown will see further relaxations for India barring 13 cities that have reported 70% of all cases in India. Discussions are reportedly underway to see if we can ditch the term "lockdown" altogether.
Which 13 cities could see stricter restrictions?
During Lockdown 5.0, there could be stricter restrictions in 13 cities including Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Howrah, Indore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Chengalpattu, and Thiruvallur. The indication came when Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a meeting with the cities' Municipal Commissioners and District Magistrates on Thursday. The same day Home Minister Amit Shah had also sought CMs' views on lockdown extension.
New guidelines could remove lockdown restrictions, except in 13 cities
The new guidelines will remove lockdown restrictions from India and likely reopen hotels, malls, and restaurants, except in the 13 cities, The Economic Times reported. An official told ET, "Discussions are underway to see how to avoid the use of the term lockdown from now on." Maharashtra, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh have reportedly sought to extend the lockdown in some form till June 30.
India's improving recovery rate gives Centre confidence to issue relaxations
The relaxations are based on the assessment that although infections have been rising, India's recovery rate has also been improving. The official told ET, "There is a strong view that while backend business has been opened, the front-end consumer-facing business has not...The front-end needs to be opened to complete the cycle." States will also be given more flexibility in deciding on restrictions.
Lockdown 5.0's guidelines are expected tomorrow
The new guidelines for the next two weeks will reportedly be issued on Sunday, when the fourth phase is scheduled to end. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to make an announcement on the next phase of the lockdown during his radio show 'Mann Ki Baat' on Sunday. However, a final call is yet to be taken, ET reported.