Even as the Covid-19 situation seems to be easing across the country, several states like Maharashtra, Odisha, Telangana and Haryana decided on Sunday to extend the Covid-induced lockdown for another week to a fortnight to safeguard the gains made so far and further arrest the spread of the virus, while Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir have announced certain relaxations in the curbs.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday extended the lockdown in the state by 15 days, saying that Covid-19 cases continued to surge in rural areas. “The drop in Covid-19 cases is still not as expected,” he added.
Maharashtra is among the six states which have more than one lakh active cases of Covid-19, according to the Union health ministry. On Sunday, the state recorded 18,600 new cases, the lowest daily tally of infection since March 16, when the state recorded 17,864 in a day.
The Odisha government, too, announced an extension of the lockdown till June 17. “The lockdown is primarily aimed at restricting movement of people and not goods. All restrictions and exemptions of the previous lockdowns will be implemented in the third phase, too,” Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra said. The state has so far reported 756,684 cases and 2,772 deaths.
The Telangana Cabinet extended the ongoing lockdown by another 10 days, with certain relaxations from 6 am to 1 pm, said an official statement from the office of chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao. .The state has so far reported 575,827 cases and 3,263 deaths.
In Haryana, the government extended the lockdown by a week till June 7, even as it relaxed curbs imposed on shop timings and malls.
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Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said while the Covid-19 situation has improved in the state, the “Mahamari Alert/Surkshit Haryana” lockdown has been extended till 5 am on June 7 with some more relaxations.
He said shops which were earlier allowed to open as per odd-even basis from 7 am to 12 pm will now be open from 9 am to 3 pm. The state has so far reported 755,389 cases and 8,221 deaths.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh on Sunday announced relaxation of lockdown in districts that currently have less than 600 active Covid cases starting from June 1. The easing, however, would not be implemented in 20 districts where active cases are over 600.
Chief secretary R K Tiwari said shops and markets outside containment zones can open from June 1 from 7 am to 7 pm (Monday to Friday). Night curfew will remain in place.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has also started the unlock process in the Union Territory, limiting the ‘corona curfew’ to night hours and weekends only, said chief secretary B V R Subrahmanyam.
Madhya Pradesh government, too, said that the unlock process in the state will start from June 1 with certain restrictions. “The district crises management group will take decisions as per positivity rate in their districts,” said Rajesh Rajora, additional chief secretary (home).
India recorded a single-day rise of 153,486 new Covid-19 cases, taking the country’s infection tally to 28,046,927, according to the HT dashboard till Sunday. The daily positivity declined to 8% on Saturday from over 25% in towards the end of April when the second wave hit its peak.