With the highest single-day spike of over 32,000 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, India is rapidly inching closer towards the ten-lakh mark. Currently, the number of cases in the country stands at 9.7 lakh and the spike is alarming. A recent study by MIT pointed out the possibility of a single-day spike of up to 2.87 lakh cases if there’s no medication or vaccine to cure this virus by 2021.
Roughly four months ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a national lockdown, hoping to avoid the large-scale crisis we are now experiencing. However, in a bid to revive the economy that has been battered by the viral outbreak, India began to ease lockdown restrictions by the end of May, leading to new daily highs in the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. Now, in a desperate measure, some of the states are reinstating the lockdown to further curb the spread of the virus.
With over 2.7 lakh cases, Maharashtra is the worst-affected state in India. It is likely to breach the three lakh-mark this weekend, and therefore, lockdown has been reinstated in some of its cities. A 10-day complete lockdown (from July 2-July 12) imposed in Navi Mumbai and Thane has now been extended till July 19 due to the increase in coronavirus cases in the past few days.
According to the guidelines, non-essential services will not operate during this period and the movement of vehicles will be restricted to essential travel and for medical emergencies. While milk outlets can remain open from 5am to 10am, shops selling vegetables and bakeries can operate between 9am and 5pm.
Since July 13, a strict 10-day lockdown has also been imposed in Pune. Grocery, retail and wholesale stores will remain shut for the first five days, however, wholesalers selling essential items will be allowed to operate between 8am to 12pm from July 19.
The directives for the weekend lockdown across Uttar Pradesh came in yesterday (July 15), state that all markets, mandis and business establishments will remain closed from 10pm on Friday till 5am on Monday. All of it will function from 9am to 9pm on other weekdays. This lockdown will remain in place for the month of July at least, the officials said. Religious places have been allowed to operate with social distancing in place. However, the state transport buses, trains and flights will function during the weekend lockdown as well.
Bihar has recorded over 20,000 cases and 180 COVID-19 patients have succumbed so far. Amid the recent spike in the cases, Bihar will be under lockdown for 15 days, starting July 16. All government offices, commercial and private establishments will remain closed during the period with some exceptions in place.
While state transport services will remain suspended, auto-rickshaws and taxis will be allowed. Rail and air travel will remain unaffected during this lockdown.
Following the sixth straight day of 1,000-plus infections, West Bengal’s case count has crossed 32,000. A week-long lockdown was imposed from July 9, which has now been extended till July 19. The lockdown will be observed in and around the containment zones of Kolkata--Malda, Cooch Behar, Raiganj, Jalpaiguri and Siliguri.
During this period, residents of the containment zones will not be allowed to go out and local authorities will arrange for the home delivery of essential items.
As many as 198 of Karnataka’s total 684 deaths have been reported since July 10. On July 12, the state reported 71 deaths. Bengaluru will be under lockdown from July 14, 8pm onwards till July 22, 5 am to curb the spread of the virus.
According to the guidelines, medical shops will be allowed to open 24X7, while grocery shops will operate between 5am to 12 noon. Hotels and restaurants shall be permitted to operate with online deliveries and takeaway facilities. While most government offices will remain shut, some will operate with 50% of their staff.
Gurugram, Faridabad and Sonipat contributed to the maximum number of coronavirus cases in the state. The authorities have announced a complete lockdown in hotspots of Gurugram till July 28 with strict guidelines in place. The residents will only be allowed to step out of their house for essential services until then.
A complete lockdown has been imposed in Goa as well, starting July 16, 8pm till 6am, July 20. Besides, there will also be a ‘janata curfew’ from 8pm to 6 am every day until August 10. Only people associated with essential services and medical emergencies will be allowed to move out during the lockdown and the curfew.
The ongoing lockdown in Kamrup Metropolitan District in Guwahati has been extended for a week till July 19, owing to the alarming rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. Religious places, public transport and hospitality services shall remain suspended. All standalone grocery and stationery shops are allowed to operate between 9am and 4pm.
With the World Health Organisation (WHO) acknowledging the possibility of COVID-19 being airborne, it is important for us to be more careful. With nearly 25,000 deaths, India is now the third worst-hit country in the world and the residents of other states, too, have to understand that relaxation of lockdown rules doesn’t mean that the virus has disappeared. Our best chance of surviving the virus is to avoid catching it. Stay home, stay safe.
Featured Image: WHO/News18