Lockdown 2.0: A mixed bag of relaxations and restrictions
Extended lockdown to be a mixed bag of restrictions and relaxations based on the number of cases in each district
The extended lockdown is expected to be a mix of regulated relaxations and strictly enforced restrictions depending on the spread and threat perception of the Coronavirus pandemic in respective districts. The districts will be classified into three categories — red, orange and green depending on the level of precautions to be taken there. Limited services are expected to be allowed in the safe zones but the dangerous ones would be out of bounds for human movement till April 30.
Maharashtra Chief Secretary Ajoy Mehta notified the extension on Monday afternoon saying it was expedient to take measures to contain the spread of the virus. The notification renewed the national lockdown order issued on April 24. The CS did not specify region-specific nitty-gritty because the measures would vary from one place to another. PM Narendra Modi will address the nation on Tuesday morning to spell out national measures based on which the states would prepare their own plans and alter them as needed.
State Health Minister Rajesh Tope said information is being collated from officials in charge (collectors and municipal commissioners) about the prevailing situation in their precincts. "Districts with more than 15 positive cases will be Red zones; Orange zone will signify less than 15 cases and no new ones till April 14, and Green will signify no positive cases reported so far. We will release a proper plan by Tuesday," Tope said.
Sources said Red zones will see no activity. Orange zone could be allowed some activities related to essential services. Green zone could be allowed more activities under strict supervision. Following social distancing would be the top norm in Orange and Green zones. However, if positive cases are reported in either Orange or Green zones, the mandatory restrictions would come into force immediately.
Fines, court cases
Some districts have already become strict against violators of social distancing in public places. In Amaravati, buyers and sellers are being fined R200 and R2,000, respectively for the first violation. For the next violation, they are being booked under the IPC. Similar orders are expected to be issued by April 14 in other districts too.
Supplies and jobs
Sources said the government would arrange supplies for people in hotspots where all types of movements have been stopped. The legal provision barring assembly of more than five people would continue to be in force where it is needed.
But steps will also be taken to resume economic activities in a phased manner without compromising public health in Orange and Green zones. Considering the liquidity crunch employers and employees are facing, respective district collectors might allow industry, manufacturing and mining to resume after due assessment in orange and green zones.
Road works and jobs under national employment guarantee schemes might also be allowed.
Sectors like farming, horticulture, rice/dal/flour mills, dairy, fishing and stitching work are already working.
But hotels, malls, theatres, clubs, multiplexes, gyms, bars, religious places, schools and colleges will not reopen anywhere.
Domestic flights to resume?
There is speculation that domestic flights will resume in a staggered manner in ceratin sectors and would follow social distancing by allowing only two passengers in an economy class row of six seats.
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