The Central Government is learnt to be actively considering the option of further extend the Lockdown ending on May 31. According to sources in view of current situation, Central Government is mulling over the option to extend the lockdown for another two weeks i.e by June 15. In view of COVID-19 cases & sharp increase which is continuing in entire last week of May, could result another phase of extension in lockdown (Lockdown 5.0) to curb the situation. As spike in Covid19 cases are being reported across the country and India having gained the 10th spot among the top pandemic hit nations, the Centre is likely to extend the lockdown till June 15.
Highly placed sources said that as Lockdown 4.0 is coming to an end on May 31, the Central Government is learnt to be actively considering the option of further extending it by another two weeks. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) will seek reports from all the states on the various measures taken by them during the Lockdown 4.0 (i.e. the period between May 18 and May 31), and then take a final call on the matter shortly. Opening up the door, on Tuesday Himachal Pradesh Govt on Monday extended the lockdown till 30 June in two of its districts.
Sources indicated that the Prime Minister may not convene a meeting with chief ministers to discuss the extension this time. In earlier phases Prime Minister chaired the Video Conference meeting with State Chief Ministers multiple times during lockdown & interacted on every possible aspect to fight Covid19. After consent with several Chief Ministers of different states, Central Govt extended the lockdown with some relieve in services, industrial activities & shops.
Lockdown 4.0 began on May 18 and is scheduled to end on May 31, However, with India recording continuous spikes in COVID-19 cases, especially in last one week, the Centre, despite having partially opened air and rail travel, is not keen to completely remove all restrictions at one go, sources in the know indicated. In fourth phase of lockdown Central Govt however allotted several responsibilities to states including of relieving of services at their own level. MHA also handed over the responsibility to decide Read, Orange, Green, Buffer & Containment Zones to states.
According to Ministry of Health & Family Welfare the number of Coronavirus cases had reached to 1,16,744 till May 21 and the number of COVID-19 cases jumped to 1,38,845 as on May 24 in the country, a sharp increase within 3 days.
Due to Covid the death toll in India has also crossed the 4,000 mark with India also gaining the dubious distinction of entering the 10th spot among the top 10 COVID-19 affected nations. Under such a scenario, the Centre is inclined towards adopting a cautious approach towards handling the situation arising out of the pandemic. According to sources the central government is closely monitoring the situation & in coordination with States & departments as it partially opened the air and rail traffic.
Source- Deccan Herald