New Delhi: India on Monday entered the third phase of the nationwide lockdown, which was initially announced in March in a bid to control the novel coronavirus pandemic. The central government had, on Friday, extended the lockdown for a second time, by two weeks, till May 17.Also Read - Indians Intensively Searching 'How to Make Pani Puri, Kadha' to Satisfy Cravings Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
The third phase of the lockdown, or ‘lockdown 3.0’ as it is being called, will, however, be less severe than the first two phases as the government has announced several relaxations which will be applicable in all three zones-red, orange and green-except in containment zones, from today. Also Read - UV Tunnels, Self Check-in Machines: Delhi Airport's Strategy to Resume Flights Post Lockdown
Some of the major relaxations include: opening of barber shops, saloons, taxis and cabs (with driver and a single passenger), intra-district movement for permitted activities, opening of standalone shops, including liquor stores etc. Flights, metro services, passenger trains, buses, cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws, malls, however, will remain closed. Also Read - Lockdown a Big Setback for Olympic-Bound Athletes: Gagan Narang
On Sunday, the country witnessed its largest single-day spike in COVID-19 cases, as well as the highest single-day death toll due to it. With a record 2,487 fresh cases and 83 deaths, India’s current tally stands at 40,263, including 1,306 casualties and 10,887 patients who have recovered.
The country, on Sunday, was also treated to a spectacular performance by the armed forces, who carried out a series of activities throughout the day to thank the frontline coronavirus warriors. On Friday, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs had made an announcement in this regard.
Earlier this week, the Centre had also allowed interstate movement of migrants and other people, who were stranded in different parts of the country due to the lockdown, in a bid to help them reach their native places. While initially the migrants and others were to be transported only in government buses, two days later, the order was modified to include special trains, after requests were made by several states in this regard.
The lockdown had, notably, originally come into effect on March 25, after being announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi the previous night. It was to end three weeks later, on April 14, but was, on the day, extended till May 3.
Now, as it stands, the lockdown will be in effect till at least May 17.