LOCKDOWN … Nationwide closure extended till May 17; 2 trains ferry migrant workers for first time

NEW DELHI: India on Friday extended the Corona-linked lockdown of the nation for two more weeks. The lockdown imposed from March 25 for three weeks and later extended upto May 3, will now be in force till May 17, with substantial relaxations in select areas and selective fields.  The central government classified districts across the country into green, orange and red zones.

Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Chennai and parts of various states will be in red zone, meaning total and strict lockdown. Goods traffic will be allowed with no restrictions. Private offices can operate with one-third staff strength. Banks, courier services, telecom offices will remain open during daytime. Plumbers, electricians etc can move around.

In green zones, buses can operate with a maximum of half the seats filled. In the orange zones, taxis and cabs are allowed to operate with one passenger. Cars can have two passengers besides the driver. Pillion riding will be allowed on two-wheelers.

There will be no air travel until May 17, and no passenger rail services other than special train runs for migrant labourers’ transport from state to state. There will be no Metro Rail services too till May 17. Educational institutions will remain shut. Hotels and restaurants too will remain closed. Cinemas, Malls, gymnasiums, etc will not operate. 

No inter-state movement by road will be allowed. No activity other than essential services from 7pm to 7am. Across the nation, those aged 65 and above, as also pregnant women and children upto age 10 cannot stir out of their homes during the entire lockdown period.

Meanwhile, the Centre has given its nod to open liquor shops, but not bars, but social distancing at outlets is a must. Not more than five persons can be present at one time. As of Friday, the total number of infections stood at 35,365 and deaths at 1150.

For the first time during the lockdown, Railways operated two special workers’ trains – one from Telangana to Jharkhand; and another from Kochi in Kerala to Bhubaneswar in Odisha. IHN-NN

INDIA HERE AND NOW www.indiahereandnow.comemail:indianow999@gmail.com

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