Kerala, Delhi, Puducherry, Meghalaya and Mizoram on Saturday decided to extend Covid-induced lockdown to blunt its fierce infection surge, while a clutch of other states like Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka eased restrictions.
At a press conference, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced one more week extension of the statewide lockdown till June 9, to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, with some relaxations to perform essential activities.
Vijayan said the lockdown would be lifted only after “test positivity rate (TPR) slips below 15 % for three consecutive days and active caseload comes down drastically.” The state reported 23,513 new cases on Saturday, taking its tally to 2,494,385.
However, some concessions have been allowed such as opening of jewellery shops, cloth markets and book stalls for three days a week and industrial and small-scale units allowed to function with 50% capacity, besides banks will also function for three days.
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Puducherry government,too, has extended the lockdown till the midnight of June 7. The Union territory continues to report a surge in infections with 996 new cases on Saturday that took its tally to 102,896.
The lockdown-like measures have been extended in the Capital Delhi till June 7 even as the government has allowed manufacturing and construction industries to operate in designated industrial areas. The Union territory recorded 956 new cases on Saturday that took its tally to 1,424,646.
The governments of Mizoram, Meghalaya and Goa, too, have decided to extend the ongoing lockdown till June 6 and 7, respectively.
Around 80% of India has been under the lockdown since May to contain the raging second wave of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa said no decision has been taken on extending the lockdown, scheduled to end at 6 am on June 7.
Himachal Pradesh has, however, eased some restrictions on Saturday allowing shops to open for two additional hours every day and increase attendance in offices to 30%.