As the country unlocks, the Ministry of Home Affairs has written to States and Union Territories asking them to do this in a “calibrated manner”. The stress must be on Covid-appropriate behaviour, it said, even as experts warned of an imminent third wave.
On Saturday, Telangana announced a full unlock from Monday and a reopening of educational institutions from July 1. Maharashtra will see some unlocking in Nashik and Aurangabad from Monday. In Karnataka, all shops, hotels, clubs, and restaurants will be allowed to operate till 5 pm and private offices, among others, would be allowed to operate with 50 per cent capacity in 16 districts with less than 5 per cent positivity, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said.
Tamil Nadu, too, was said to be reviewing a similar decision.
This, even as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences chief Randeep Guleria cautioned that another surge of the novel coronavirus could be upon the country in six-eight weeks, if people begin to crowd public spaces, and do not take precautions.
Call to assess situation
Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, in his advisory, urged States to impose or ease restrictions based on an assessment of the ground situation. Calling for regular monitoring to prevent a relapse, the advisory outlined a five-fold strategy of Covid- appropriate behaviour, test-track-treat and vaccination.
In Telangana, the Government decided to completely unlock from June 20. The State Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, examined Health Department reports on Covid-19 cases coming down drastically, indicating the pandemic was under control. Restrictions imposed from May 12 have been progressively relaxed.
The Cabinet also instructed the Education Department to reopen all categories of educational institutions, from July 1. The decisions were in the interest of public life and livelihood, the government said.
In Maharashtra, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said authorities were monitoring the number of patients. He added that they would consider compulsory 15-day quarantine for people taking monsoon trips and trekking outside district boundaries. Also, the weekend lockdown will continue in Pune, he said.
Nashik District Guardian Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said, malls in the city would open with 50 per cent capacity from June 21, as Nashik reported fewer cases now. Aurangabad, too, would see a relaxation of the lockdown from June 21. Mumbai, though, would continue with existing ‘Level 3’ restrictions for the next few days.