Written byShalini Ojha
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and number 2 in his government, Home Minister Amit Shah, met on Friday to discuss the strategy on the country-wide lockdown, whose fourth phase is due to end on Sunday, May 31. The big announcement could be made tomorrow.
This meeting came a day after Shah spoke to Chief Ministers seeking their feedback on lockdown, rising coronavirus cases, and economy.
The tally stands at 1.7 lakh with 4,710 losing their lives. Maharashtra continues to remain the worst-affected state, followed by Tamil Nadu and Delhi.
To recall, the first phase of lockdown was enforced on March 25.
In ongoing Lockdown 4.0, the Central government let states decide on pertinent issues, fulfilling their long-standing demand.
As opposed to the second and third phases, states were given authority to decide on hotspots.
Limited air travel also started from Monday, providing respite to the aviation industry which was crippling since the last two months.
Online delivery of non-essentials was allowed in non-containment zones too.
Speculations suggest the lockdown will be extended for two weeks, but states will be permitted to decide on the opening of shops, allow intra-state travel, etc., to keep the wheels of the economy moving.
Yesterday while speaking to CMs, Shah asked about the restrictions, the economic activity, and the status of migrants, who were worst-hit due to curbs.
He keenly listened to states' suggestions.
"I feel lockdown may be extended for 15 more days. However, we demand that there should be some relaxations, say, restaurants should be allowed with social distancing at 50 percent capacity. Many people also want gyms to resume," Goa CM Pramod Sawant said.
A report in Indian Express said more flights could be allowed in the next phase of lockdown.
Some states like Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have already allowed intra-state travel and more states could follow suit from June 1.
In Lockdown 5.0, more shops could be opened, but there is not much information about making malls operational. Gyms, theaters, and cinema halls could remain closed.
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