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India restarts economy by limiting anti-Covid lockdown to containment zones till Jun 30

Image Credit: UNI

India restarts economy by limiting anti-Covid lockdown to containment zones till Jun 30

India Blooms News Service | @@indiablooms | 30 May 2020, 09:14 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: In a bid to set the economy of the country rolling, the central government on Saturday amid the massive surge in Covid-19 cases limited the lockdown to only containment zones (where positive cases are reported) till Jun 30.

On a day the country of 1.3 billion people registered the highest spike in Novel Coronavirus cases (7,964), the government allowed to open up major segments of socio-economic life- religious places, hotels, restaurants, hospitality services, shopping malls- outside the containment zones from Jun 8.

Schools, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions, as the Home Ministry said, will open in July after consultations with 36 states and union territories.

However, international passenger flights, metro rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will be closed for now.

In the Unlock 1.0, night curfew, a new guideline which was issued by the Home Ministry during the announcement of the lockdown 4.0, will now remain active from 9 pm to 5 am.

In the lockdown 4.0, the night curfew, which prohibits movement of people for any reason other than essential services, was effective from 7 pm to 7 am.

The central government made the announcement of Lockdown 5.0 couple of days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to all Chief Ministers, who rule the states, and sought their advices from them over how the country could move amid the Covid threat.

Prior to the Centre's announcement of lockdown 5.0, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh had extended the lockdown by 30 and 15 days respectively.

Much similar to the Home Ministry's recent guidelines, West Bengal, a state in the eastern part of the country, almost ended the lockdown by allowing the reopening of the religious places from Jun 1 besides announcing the functioning of all government and private companies with 70 per cent workforce, 20 per cent more than earlier.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Mar 24 first announced the lockdown for 21 days but the Centre was forced to extend the restrictions thrice owing to the steady rise in Covid cases.

With the announcement of the major relaxations, India is up for a great challenge to maintain the social distancing with the reopening of major sectors at this crucial time.

The Narendra Modi government was in a Catch-22 as the lockdown extension with full restrictions will only worsen the battered economy further.

The country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has already slowed down to 3.1% in the January-March quarter (Q3) bearing the Covid impact.

With the lockdown coming in full effect since Mar 24, the growth rate is expected to take plunge further.

The sufferings of the migrant workers was unmissable as images of the poor being losing lives on trains and roads while heading back to their homes recurrently flashed on television screens.

Though the migrant workers are now heading back to their home states on Shramik Special Trains, several opposition parties of the country blame the ruling dispensation for ignoring the poor's plight since day one of the lockdown which is dubbed by the opposition politicians as an "unplanned" one.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has termed the Shramik Special Trains as "Corona Express" accusing the Indian Railways of spreading the pandemic virus in her state by sending migrant workers from Maharashtra, which is the worst affected state due to Covid-19.

Calling the entire lockdown as a failure, former CPI-M parliamentarian Md. Salim told India Blooms, "The Prime Minister's office or Chief Minister's office or the Home Ministry's office or the Disaster Management Authority is clueless because the entire objective of this lockdown was to bring down the curve. Now at this moment, the curve is spiking."

(Images: UNI, Avishek Mitra/IBNS)

India restarts economy by limiting anti-Covid lockdown to containment zones till Jun 30

India Blooms News Service
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