New Delhi: The nationwide lockdown, which was put in place on March 25, will complete its fourth extension tomorrow, posing a compelling question: whether lockdown 5.0 is necessary. Unlike the other occasions before the extension of the lockdown, this time it was Union home minister Amit Shah — not Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who talked to the CMs and sought their views on an extension of the ongoing lockdown. Also Read - How Remdesivir Can Save Lives in Nations With Lower Hospital Capacity
Consensus on two points Also Read - West Bengal Lockdown Extension News: Shutdown in Containment Zones Only For 7 Days, Will Extend if Needed, Says Mamata Banerjee
According to reports, all the states agreed on two points, which are seemingly contradictory: Also Read - Coronavirus India Update: 16883 COVID Patients Cured in 24 Hours, Recovery Rate Improves to Over 61%
1. The restrictions must not go away completely.
2. Economic activities should start in a full swing.
So lockdown 5.0, which will be in place until June 15, will be more about a staggered opening of activities, maintaining hygiene and social distancing.
Train Services: The Indian Railways has already announced 100 pairs of special passenger trains from June 1. Special guidelines have been issued for the ticket checking staffs as well. More passenger trains will be added. Offline ticket booking, tatkal ticket booking have already been allowed earlier, which will continue.
Flights Services: Domestic flight services began from May 25. Some new routes may get added. But it’s unlikely that the state governments will allow more arrivals or departures. So, there will be no change regarding that.
Metro: The MHA is likely to allow metro services from June 1. But the state governments will be the final authority in this case. Apart from Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru are also gearing up to resume metro services during lockdown 5.0.
Shopping malls, restaurants: Several cities have already started opening shopping malls. Restaurants have also opened for takeaways only. More shops will open. Restaurants may also open maintaining social distancing in seating arrangements.
Gyms, swimming pools
It’s unlikely that gyms and swimming pools will be allowed to open as they pose a greater risk of infection.
States will be given the authority. West Bengal has already announced that religious places will open from June 1.
Schools and other educational institutes will open in the next phase — not in lockdown 5.0. But teachers and other staffs may get asked to come to the school during lockdown 5.0 to begin preparations for the reopening of the classes.
Lockdown 5.0 Plans: Statewise
After meeting with Amit Shah, some states have started planning for lockdown 5.0. Some states, however, are waiting for the official communication from the Centre.
Maharashtra: Lockdown will continue, especially in Mumbai.
Jammu and Kashmir: Except for shopping malls, multiplexes, restaurants, schools, colleges, gyms, everything else will be opened.
Kerala: Kerala government is not going easy on relaxations. Not likely to open religious places as the number of cases went up suddenly.
Telangana: Will follow the Centre’s guideline and frame accordingly.
Rajasthan: The state will be categorised into two segments: curfew and non-curfew.
Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat: Punjab to take a decision today. Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat have not yet decided any blueprint for lockdown 5.0
Delhi: Everything else, apart from schools, colleges and places of a large gathering, is supposed to open
Jharkhand: If needed, we’ll extend lockdown further. “We are in no hurry. Things will move ahead if people of the state are safe,” the chief minister said.
Haryana: In favour of extending lockdown beyond May 31.
West Bengal: Moving towards a full open up. Religious places to open from June 1. Offices to function in full capacity from June 8.