Maharashtra Extends Lockdown Till July 31 Day After Urging Caution
The Maharashtra government has extended the coronavirus lockdown till July 31 amid a steady growth in the COVID-19 numbers in the state. Issuing fresh guidelines for what it called "Mission Begin Again", the government said that movement for non-essential activities must be restricted within the neighbourhoods in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.
"It is further directed that the movement of persons for the purposes of non-essential activities like shopping and the outdoor exercises, shall be restricted within the neighbourhood area limits with all necessary prescribed mandatory precautions of wearing masks, social distancing and personal hygiene," a statement read.
Only those attending offices and emergencies will be allowed unrestricted movement, the government said.
"It is also directed that unrestricted movement will be permitted only for attending place of work and bonafide humanitarian requirement including medical reason".
All essential shops, e-commerce activity for essential and non-essential items, all industrial units which are presently operational and home delivery of food will be allowed.
"All Government offices (excluding Emergency, health and Medical, treasuries, disaster management, police, NIC, food and Civil Supply, FCI, NYK, Municipal Services) to function with 15% strength or 15 persons - whichever is higher," it said.
All private offices in Mumbai Metropolitan Region can operate with 10% strength or 10 people.
Activities related to self-employed people like plumbers, electricians, pest control; garages; printing and distribution of newspapers (including home delivery); and barber shops have also been allowed in MMR.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said that despite its progress in tackling COVID-19, the crisis is not over yet and urged the people of the state to follow rules and ensure the lockdown is not re-imposed.
"In the last 15 days we have cautiously and gradually started reopening shops and offices, we have started local [train] services for essential staff in Mumbai and small shops and businesses in rural parts of the state, but the pandemic still looms over our heads. Just because we are slowly starting the economy doesn't mean the danger is averted. I request you to please step out only if you have necessary work," he had said.
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Delhi fighting difficult battle against COVID-19, will emerge victorious: Kejriwal
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said Delhi is waging a difficult war against coronavirus pandemic and will emerge victorious, but it will take time for it.
The Delhi government is combating the pandemic by increasing beds for COVID-19 patients, raising the number of tests, providing oxymetres and oxygen concentrators to patients in home isolation, providing plasma therapy, and through survey and screening, he said in a briefing.
In the past one month, the number of beds have been raised significantly in hospitals and now there is no lack of beds. Out of 13,500 available, 7,500 are vacant, he said.
Kejriwal also said that currently around 20,000 tests for COVID-19 are being undertaken daily in the city.
He said a serological survey has started for ascertaining the level of coronavirus spread in the city. Under the survey started on Saturday, 20,000 samples will be collected, the chief minister said.
2-Week Lockdown In Guwahati From Monday; Minister Says "Shop By Sunday"
Assam today announced a "complete lockdown" in Guwahati and from Monday for the next two weeks after a sharp surge was recorded in the number of new coronavirus patients in the last ten days. Next week, only pharmacies and hospitals will be allowed to open in Guwahati, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said this afternoon as he stressed: "Please finish your shopping by Sunday."
"A complete lockdown will be observed across Guwahati for two weeks from Sunday midnight. For the first seven days, only pharmacies and hospitals will be open. Everything else will be shut," the 51-year-old minister said during a virtual press conference this afternoon.
A 12-hour night-curfew will be observed across rest of the state for the next two weeks, he added. Banks will be allowed to open for limited duration.
Air or rail tickets can be used as passes for travelers, Mr Sarma said, adding that he would review the situation next Friday to consider relaxations. "This was the only solution to break the chain of transmission," he said.
Guwahati has recorded over 700 new infections since June 15, which prompted the state to take the decision. The health minister this afternoon indicated this may be the strictest lockdown the city has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.
India announced one of the world's strictest lockdowns in the world to tackle the pandemic in March. However, shops selling groceries or other shops selling essentials were not shut during the last three months.
With over 6,300 coronavirus cases, Assam is one of the worst-affected states in the northeast. Nine deaths linked to the highly contagious illness have been recorded so far, according to the Union Health Ministry.
India's corornavirus tally soared to 4.9 lakh cases this morning after more than 17,000 new infections were recorded in the last 24 hours.
Chennai lockdown starts today: Check what is allowed, not allowed
With the rapid rise in coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu, the state government, on Friday, implemented a 12-day strict lockdown in four districts to curb the spread of the deadly virus.The four districts where lockdown will be imposed are Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpattu. The lockdown will end on June 30.
Shops will be allowed to function but only during specified timings. Ration shops will remain open from 8 am to 2 pm, while vegetable and grocery shops will remain open from 6 am to 2 pm. Petrol pumps will open from 6 am to 2 pm. However, all the shops will remain closed in the containment zones. Only essential services will be allowed in these areas.
Hotels and restaurants will operate but for takeaway services only. Online delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato can deliver food from 6 am to 8 pm. The state and central government offices will work with 33 per cent workforce in the offices. Hospitals, diagnostic labs, pharmacies will remain functional. Cab services and autos will be banned except for emergency services.
Meanwhile, on Friday, the Chennai police intensified security arrangements to implement the lockdown. According to Chennai Police Commissioner A.K.Viswanathan, main roads in the city such as Anna Salai and others will be closed for traffic for the next 12 days. Vehicle checkpoints have been established at 280 places across Chennai besides other check posts in border areas. Police is also using drones to monitor the lockdown in the four districts.
"We have started enforcing lockdown measures, In many areas of the city, we are monitoring the situation through drones, and also making announcements through drone speakers," Vishwanathan said.
The city police has assured that no leniency will be shown to violators until the 12-day lockdown gets over. Cases will be booked straight away, vehicles will be seized, according to the police statement.
Tamil Nadu is the second-most worst affected state in India, after Maharashtra. The state till Friday reported a total number of 52,334 cases, including 28,641 cured, and 625 deaths.
India-China tension: Indian Army releases list of 20 martyrs; wreath ceremony begins in Leh
The Indian Army on Wednesday revealed the names of the 20 Indian Army personnel who lost their lives in the violent clashes with China in Galwan Valley, Ladakh. Among those killed on the Indian side was Colonel B Santosh Babu of the Bihar Regiment. The other martyred were:
COL. B SANTOSH BABU
NB SUB NUDURAM SOREN
SB SUB MANDEEP SINGH
ND SUB SATNAM SINGH
HAV K PALANI
HAV SUNIL KUMA
HAV BIPUL ROY
NK DEEPAK KUMAR
SEP RAJESH ORANG
SEP KUNDAN KUMAR OJHA
SEP GANESH RAM
SEP CHANDRAKANTA PRADHAN
SEP GURTEJ SINGH
SEP CHANDAN KUMAR
SEP KUNDAN KUMAR
SEP AMAN KUMAR
SEP JAI KISHORE SINGH
SEP GANESH HANSDA
Also, a wreath-laying ceremony of the martyrs was performed at Army Hospital in Leh on Wednesday, who lost their lives in the Galwan Valley clash.
The Army had initially said that an officer and two soldiers were killed in clashes with Chinese forces on Monday night. But in a late evening statement on Tuesday, it revised the figure to 20, saying 17 others who "were critically injured in the line of duty and exposed to sub-zero temperatures at the standoff location succumbed to their injuries."
Meanwhile, in order to discuss the situation in the India-China border areas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for an all-party meeting at 5 PM on 19th June. Presidents of various political parties will participate in this virtual meeting.