File photo used for representation
NEW DELHI: Maharashtra is all set to extend the lockdown for a month while Telangana may do so for 15 more days with stricter norms in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation region even as the Manipur government announced on Sunday that restrictions will continue till July 15. The present lockdown in the three states, which have seen an exponential surge in Covid cases in the last few days, was scheduled to end on June 30.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray made it clear on Sunday that lockdown in the state will not be lifted post June 30, but more relaxations will be given to speed up economic activities. He said even if relaxations are being given, it does not mean that the danger or the crisis has ended. “We are walking on the edge, we have to walk slowly. Just because relaxations are being given, people shouldn’t think that the battle is over. It is not.”
His comments came on a day when Mumbai Police issued directives asking people not to venture out more than 2kms from home unless it was for office or for essentials. Police said that all trips — whether for shopping or for exercising or visiting salons — should be made within a 2km-radius “else action will be initiated”. Nakabandis were conducted throughout the city on Sunday to enforce the new directives and nearly 7000 vehicles were impounded by police. “If we find that people are venturing out without any reason or travelling unnecessarily, then we will have no option but to go for the stricter imposition of the lockdown again in the areas with a rise in cases,” the CM added.
A senior IPS officer said many people aren’t taking the lockdown seriously. “There have been instances where people living in the distant suburbs have been found strolling on Marine Drive. Beaches are packed with visitors, many of them not wearing masks,” he said.
Senior officials in Mantralaya said the state government has given power to the local district collectors and police commissioner to go in for localised lockdowns in certain areas where cases have risen.
With Covid cases increasing by nearly a thousand every day in Telangana, CM K Chandrasekhar Rao said his government will go for a stricter and total lockdown in greater Hyderabad — which is the worst affected region — for at least 15 days. He said the decision on dates will be taken in the next three to four days. “There should be a day-long curfew with one or two-hour relaxation to buy essentials. Flights and train services have to be stopped,” he said. Currently, there is only night curfew in the state from 9 pm to 5 am. Health minister Eatala Rajender informed a review meeting chaired by the CM that several health officials and medical experts have suggested another 15-day lockdown in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Limits to bring the situation under control.
Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh said that the government has decided to extend the ongoing lockdown in the state till July 15 with some relaxations.
“The government will open inter-district bus services from Wednesday by maintaining SOPs and guidelines,” he said. Manipur has 1,094 Covid cases and 660 of these are active.