Opening Covid-19 lockdown: What Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh are planning

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Published: April 4, 2020 8:15:42 PM

Coronavirus lockdown: While complete lockdown was necessary to break the chain of transmission of coronavirus, it has halted economic activity across the country forcing lakhs of migrant and daily wage workers to go out of job.

The three-week lockdown was imposed on March 25 and will continue till April 14. (PTI)

With less than ten days left in the 21-day lockdown, the state governments have started looking for options before them to lift the shutdown imposed in the wake of coronavirus. While most of the states are still waiting to see a decline in the numbers, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have started considering phase-wise opening of the lockdown. The three-week lockdown was imposed on March 25 and will continue till April 14.

While the deadline is over a week away, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Saturday said that his government was discussing whether to give phase-wise relaxation after April 14. He, however, said that this would be possible only if people cooperate and maintain discipline. Maharashtra is worst hit by the epidemic with the highest number of positive cases coming from the state. As per the Ministry of Health, Maharashtra has reported 490 confirmed cases while 42 have recovered and 24 have died.

Like Maharashtra, Rajasthan too is considering phase-wise opening and it has set up two task forces to come up with suggestions. The chief minister’s office has said that the first task force of 12 officers and experts headed by Additional Chief Secretary-Home Rajiv Swarup will suggest measures to remove the lockdown. The second task force will prepare the plans to improve the state economy which has been badly affected due to lockdown.

While complete lockdown was necessary to break the chain of transmission of coronavirus, it has halted economic activity across the country forcing lakhs of migrant and daily wage workers to go out of job. Not only workers, business too have suffered heavily and which is why some exporters in the country have been requesting the Centre to allow partial opening otherwise they would lose the market to other nations like China.

However, coronavirus is highly contagious and even a single untraced case is capable of triggering a second wave. To contain the cases, social distancing is must but it will also be a challenge for many states if relaxations are given.

Underlining this challenge, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today said that if the state opened the lockdown from April 15, there should be no crowd. “Your cooperation is needed in this. After April 15, if the lockdown is opened and if there is crowd, then all the hard work would go away. We will make arrangements for this,” Yogi Adityanath said while speaking to MLAs.

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