Unlock 1.0 Guidelines: Several states, including Delhi, Tamil Nadu, recorded the biggest single-day spike in the number of COVID-19 cases as the Centre announced the first phase of the country’s exit strategy from the ongoing lockdown, which was put in place on March 25, in an attempt to contain the outbreak of COVID-19. Also Read - Over 19,000 Fresh Cases Recorded in Last 24 Hours, Total Tally Crosses 6 Lakh-Mark | Top Developments
Unlock 1.0, Not Lockdown 5.0 Also Read - Tamil Nadu Lockdown Extension: Small Temples Reopen, Please Don't Sprinkle Holy Water on Devotees, Says Government
The home ministry has strategically named this one-month period as unlock 1.0, not lockdown 5.0. Why? Because almost all activities are being allowed from June 8. Night curfew time has been relaxed. Shopping malls, restaurants, religious places will open for the first time since March 25. So, this is practically opening up, not locking down. Only containment zones will remain locked down till June 30. Also Read - No one Helped us Cremate Body: Man Dies of COVID-19 on Monday, Family Keeps Body in Freezer For 48 Hours
Three Phases: Why Reopening schools in Phase 2 and Metro in Phase 3?
Unlock 1.0 comprises three phases. In the first phase which starts from June 8, religious places, restaurants, shopping malls will open. In phase 2, which will be in June end, it will be consulted whether schools can be opened. Metros, along with international flights, will open in phase 3.
Shopping malls, restaurants have been given priority because of the economic aspect. Schools have been kept in the second phase as academic sessions are suffering, whereas metro comes at the last as opening non-essential public transport is not what the COVID-19 situation demands.
Lockdown 5.0 or Unlock 1.0: What’s in a name?
While the Centre has already proceeded towards Unlock 1.0, several state governments, including Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, West Bengal, announced an extension of the ongoing lockdown. But what’s in a name?
The nationwide curbs were first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The lockdown was first extended till May 3 and then again till May 17. It was further extended till May 31 and now has been extended in containment zones till June 30. The government from the beginning allowed the opening of shops selling essential commodities and in phases allowed markets and shops of non-essential items to function in non-containment zones.
The government has also allowed limited operations of trains and domestic flights during the last fortnight. The Indian Railways is also running special trains since May 1 for transportation of migrant workers from different parts of the country to their native states.