India has been under a nation-wide lockdown since March 25 in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has claimed 1074 lives across our country and has infected more than 33,000 people. While the number of coronavirus cases is rising with every passing day, the recovery rate has also swelled up. "Happy to note that with 7700 + recoveries, our COVID-19 recovery rate has improved. It was 15% on 19 April, 19.2% on 26 April and 24.56% today (April 29)," Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said in a tweet yesterday.
On that relieving note, the government is planning to give relaxations to many districts after the current lockdown expires on May 3. The Union Home Ministry has been conducting review meetings for the past couple of days and observed that there have been gains in the COVID-19 situation, owing to which there will be relaxations across districts that are no longer hotspots.
"New guidelines to fight #COVID19 will come into effect from 4th May, which shall give considerable relaxations to many districts. Details regarding this shall be communicated in the days to come," the home ministry spokesperson tweeted. Take a look!
MHA held a comprehensive review meeting on the #lockdown situation today. There've been tremendous gains & improvement in the situation due to lockdown till now. To ensure that these gains are not squandered away, the lockdown guidelines should be strictly observed till 3rd May.
— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) April 29, 2020
What Has Government Allowed So Far?
The government has already allowed industrial activities in rural areas, but with certain conditions. Only a few industries supplying essential goods are supposed to be under operation.
Quite recently, certain standalone business establishments of non-essential goods were also allowed to open during the lockdown including shops selling electric fans and school books in Delhi. Inter and intrastate travel of all healthcare workers and scientists has been allowed by the Delhi Government too and operation of shelter homes for children, disabled, mentally challenged, and senior citizens have also resumed in the capital. Other than this, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also allowed services provided by self-employed persons such as electricians, and plumbers.
The government is also taking steps to allow movement of stranded people. As per an MHA directive, all states and UTs have been asked to designate nodal authorities and develop standard protocols for receiving and sending stranded persons.
How Different States Are Dealing With COVID-19
While a panel of ministers led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently recommended the lockdown extension till May 15, Prime Minister Modi was of the view that the economy must be put back on track along with fighting with a virus, in his meeting help with state CMs on April 27.
Different states, however, have taken up different actions to deal with the COVID-19 situation.
Punjab: CM Amarinder Singh has announced extension of the lockdown in the state by two weeks after May 3.
West Bengal: Expressing her concerns, CM Mamata Banerjee agreed with the opinions of experts and doctors stating that the restrictions should continue till the end of May.
Telangana: CM K Chandrasekhar Rao has already announced extension of the lockdown in his state till May 7 without any form of relaxation at all.
At one point in time, 170 districts across India were marked as hotspots. Now, the number has gone down to 129. However, in the same span, the number of infection-free districts have also decreased from 325 to 307. clearly, fighting COVID-19 is a roller-coaster ride and there seems to be no end in sight. At the same time, it is important to think of life after coronavirus and these relaxations can be considered as the first step towards our journey back to normalcy. After all, India has to bounce back!