The fifth phase of the lockdown could see additional easing of coronavirus restrictions that have been imposed across the country. The government is likely to focus on areas with high density of cases. Home Minister Amit Shah, following a meeting with all the Chief Ministers, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to discuss the contours of the lockdown plan. The final decision would be out by My 31, the last day of the current lockdown phase.
Two panels, led by CK Mishra and Dr VK Paul, have also submitted their exit strategies. It is likely that restrictions on schools, colleges, movie theatres and religious places would continue. However, West Bengal and Karnataka have urged the Centre to allow religious places to reopen.
According to a report in India Today, nothing has been proposed by the panels on the resumption of international travel even as domestic flights and trains continue to operate. Restarting of inter-state travel might also not happen now as some states are not keen on opening up their borders.
Except for the aforementioned restrictions, all activities could be resumed in green, orange and red zones outside containment areas.
The panels have also batted for additional focus on sealing of containment zones in the hotspots. Thirteen districts have been identified as the worst-hit. These are municipalities of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmadabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata/Howrah, Indore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Chengalpattu (Tamil Nadu) and Thiruvallur (Tamil Nadu).
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal batted for more relaxations including opening of malls and the metro rail.
Karnataka and West Bengal want to reopen religious places. However there would be no mass gatherings or congregations.
Punjab is yet to decide but supports greater economic activity with restrictions on schools, colleges, malls and cinema halls.
Himachal Pradesh has decided to extend the lockdown in Shimla, Solan and Hamirpur districts.
Goa also wants a two-week extension. It also wants restaurants to be open for business with 50 per cent dine-in capacity.
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