Even as the Centre has issued revised guidelines specifying relaxation of lockdown norms from Monday (April 20), several states have come up with their own set of guidelines to ease lockdown restrictions.
While Telangana on Sunday (April 19) decided to extend the lockdown without relaxations till May 7, many others like Maharashtra have permitted limited industrial activity in the orange and green zones.
Here’s what the states have chalked out:
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday said districts like Indore, Bhopal, Ujjain and others which are affected by the coronavirus spread will be exempted from easing any norms. The home ministry in a statement issued on Monday (April 20) listed Indore among cities where the COVID-19 situation is serious.
“We are going to start economic activities from April 20 under the guidelines of the Centre. Several activities including construction and repairing of roads, labour work under the MGNREGA are going to be started and activities related to the agriculture and procurement of wheat have been started,” Chouhan said.
The state reported 1,407 cases as on Monday.
Following a state cabinet meeting, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced that the lockdown has been extended in the state till May 7 without any relaxations.
“The existing lockdown rules, including night curfew, would continue to be in force and it would be implemented in a tough manner,” he said, adding that even as there is no problem in ordering groceries via online medium, services of food delivery apps would not be allowed from Monday.
Telangana 844 COVID-19 positive cases until now.
Reiterating the need for people to strictly follow lockdown norms, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that barring exceptions, district borders will continue to remain sealed. The state is leading in COVID-19 cases at 4,203.
The state has identified certain hotspot and divided them into containment zones — red, orange, and green — depending on the rising number of positive cases in those regions.
“We are allowing some industrial activity in orange and green zones to some extent,” Thackeray said.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Odisha rose to 68 after seven people tested positive on Sunday. This came on the same day when the Bhadrak district administration lifted restrictions in two containment zones of Chrampa and Erein where repair shops and construction material selling stores will remain open from 6 AM to 1 PM.
Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathi, however, informed on Sunday that lockdown restrictions will continue in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, the latter being a COVID-19 hotspot.
In the wake of 105 fresh cases being reported on Sunday in the state, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said a panel of experts has been constituted to formulate guidelines for phased exit from the lockdown.
Related news: TN’s COVID spike punctures EPS’ vow; decision on lockdown relaxing today
The panel will submit its interim report to the chief minister on Monday. However, public health experts have suggested the committee to not give any relaxations until May 3 due to the presence of residual infection and the need for cautious approach while lifting the lockdown.
“The CM will examine the recommendations of the committee and decide. So, the existing lockdown restrictions will continue until the state government issues an order,” said an official statement.
Tamil Nadu has recorded 1,477 cases, so far.
The Karnataka government on Sunday issued fresh orders to continue the stringent lockdown measures issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs till the midnight of April 21. The state’s COVID-19 case count stands at 390.
The decision on lockdown relaxations after April 21 midnight will be taken following a state cabinet meeting on Monday.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has also appointed incident commanders for each containment zone and given them magisterial power. Almost 33 per cent workforce of government departments have been allowed to work provided they come in contract buses hired exclusively for them.
The Kerala government also identified 88 hotspots on Sunday where no relaxation in lockdown norms would be allowed until May 3. However, the state has announced relaxation in two zones, allowing movement of private vehicles on an odd-even basis and dine-in services at hotels from Monday.
Other relaxations including opening of local workshops, barber shops, restaurants, book stores, MSMEs in municipal limits, bus travel in cities and towns for shorter distances and allowing pillion riders on two-wheelers were strongly opposed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, stating that this amounts to “dilution” of central guidelines issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005.
Unlike Maharashtra, Kerala divided the containment zones in four categories — red, orange A, orange B and green — last week.
Related news: Relaxation of lockdown in Kerala dilutes Centre’s guidelines: MHA
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the relaxations would be permitted in districts in orange A category from April 24 and from April 20 in orange B, while the norms would be intensified in red category regions.
The state has a total of 402 COVID-positive cases at present.
The decision for relaxing the lockdown in 19 districts which have reported 10 or more positive cases will be taken by the district magistrates after reviewing the situation, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Sunday.
Concurring the same, Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi said, “The DMs will take a call. It will be a phased opening depending on the needs of the districts.”
Uttar Pradesh has reported 1,084 COVID-19 cases.
The Gujarat government on Sunday said around 1,000 industrial units will start functioning from Monday as the process of giving the necessary permissions is underway.
“The permissions are already being granted by the administration. These permissions have been given by the respective district collectors and do not include areas that are hotspots or have containment zones,” said an official.
The state’s COVID-19 count stands at 1,743.
In line with the guidelines issued by the home ministry on April 15, the Haryana government has authorised deputy commissioners of all districts to permit economic activity in certain regions. Haryana has reported 233 cases.
The state on Friday said, “All government offices at the district level will open from April 20, while for Group A and B officers 100 per cent attendance has been ordered, the attendance for Group C and D level employees shall be 33 per cent.”
The permit for various industries to start functioning will be authorised by the district magistrates depending on the local requirement and norms of social distancing.
In a much positive news, the Himachal Pradesh government has given “special permission with conditions” to pharma companies in Baddi, the country’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturing hub to produce sufficient hydroxychloroquine and other essential medicines, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur told The Indian Express.
Firms such as Cipla, Dr Reddy’s, Torrent, and Zydus Cadila are among the giants that have been given the necessary permissions to call workers from “nearby areas, inside, and outside the state” to boost the production.
The state is one of the few in the country with the lowest number (39) of COVID-19 cases.