On May 31, the fourth extension of the ongoing lockdown — in force since March 25 — will come to an end. The Centre has already started preparing the roadmap ahead for another extension, which will actually be the final exit plan for the country, which has seen a sharp hike in the number of cases since the lockdown was imposed.
Like it has happened before every extension of the lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation before June 1. Since May 31 is also the last Sunday of the month, PM Modi’s monthly radio programme Mann ki Baat is also scheduled. Reports claimed PM Modi may address the lockdown extension on hi Mann ki Baat programme.
Here are the probable guidelines for lockdown 5.0:
1. States will decide activities what are allowed and what are not allowed, according to the ground-level situation.
2. Containment zones will remain as is — all activities will remain barred.
3. The Centre will come up with a list of activities that will remain prohibited across the country — notwithstanding the number of cases.
4. The opening of schools will be one of them. No schools will be allowed to be opened before June 15, as of now.
5. Shopping malls may get a nod but the decision will be on the local authorities. Opening of the shopping malls was barred during lockdown 4.0 but Lucknow is going ahead to open shopping malls.
6. Railways and domestic flights operations are already on. Delhi Metro is likely get a go-ahead to resume operations in a staggered manner from June 1.
7. Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Thane, Indore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Surat and Kolkata — these cities will remain the ficus of lockdown 5.0.
8. No religious gathering will be allowed, but the Centre is mulling whether the decision of reopening religious places could be left to the states. The Karnataka government has written to the PM for the reopening of all religious places from June 1.
9. Discussions are on whether reopening of the eateries can also be left with the state governments.
10. No international flights will be allowed during lockdown 5.0
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 4,337 and the total number of cases climbed to 1,51,767 in the country, registering an increase of 170 deaths and 6,387 cases in the last 24 hours, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.
The number of active coronavirus cases stands at 83,004, while 64,425 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, it said.