Telangana lifts COVID curbs fully; schools to reopen from July 1

Experts have warned against complete withdrawal of curbs as third wave is almost imminent

Experts say a complete withdrawal of lockdown runs the risk of overcrowding which could only hasten the third wave.

The Telangana government has decided to fully reopen the state from June 20 following a swift decline in the number of COVID cases during the second wave of the pandemic. The government has ordered “all branches to lift all types of regulations imposed during the lockdown to full extent”. The state had imposed a lockdown from May 12.

Schools and other educational institutions are also set to reopen on July 1.

“The state cabinet has decided to lift the lockdown completely. The decision has been taken by examining the reports given by medical authorities that the number of corona cases, the positivity percentage has decreased significantly,” the Chief Minister’s Office posted on Facebook.

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Also read: Unlock 4: Making the best out of a bad situation

Many states have announced relaxation in the COVID-induced restrictions with the overall situation steadily improving. But a complete unlocking amid the receding second wave of the pandemic is unprecedented. Experts have warned against a complete ‘unlock’, but the Telangana government said the decision has been taken after consulting experts.

During the lockdown, the state provided relaxation between 6am and 5pm and also allowed a grace period of an hour. So, activities were permitted till 6pm.

Telangana is one of the worst-hit states in the country. On Friday it reported a case positivity of just 1.14 per cent. The number of daily cases was just over 1,400 in the past 24 hours, and the number of pandemic-linked deaths was 12. The overall Covid tally of the state is 6,10,834, while the state’s total toll is 3,546 till Friday (June 18).

Also read: Telangana leads in COVID vaccine wastage, officials blame lack of training

The K Chandrashekar Rao government had extended the lockdown on June 9 by 10 days. However, it eased several curbs as the wave showed signs of waning.

States like Delhi and Maharashtra which went for lockdown are reopening in phases with a limited set of activities being allowed. Maharashtra has divided its districts on various zones depending on the severity of the pandemic.

A full withdrawal of cubs involves the risk of crowding, which can hasten the third wave in the country, experts have said. AIIMS director Randeep Guleria on Saturday (June 18) said the next wave of the pandemic may strike the country in the next eight weeks, if COVID-appropriate behaviour was not followed.

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