Saturday, April 25, 2020

After Delhi, 5 more states want lockdown extended beyond May 3

A day after the Delhi government said the lockdown would have to be continued till May 16 in the national capital, five states — Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh , Bengal, Punjab and Odisha — on Saturday veered towards extending curbs in hotspots of their respective states beyond May 3.

Six other states — Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and — said they would follow the Centre’s directive, while Assam, Kerala and Bihar would take a call after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video conference with states and Union territories on Monday. Telangana, the only state to have already extended the lockdown, said it would take a call two days before the curb ends on May 7.

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope backed extension of lockdown in the containment zones in Mumbai and Pune, which account for 92% of the total cases in the state, till May 18. “A discussion on extending the lockdown will be taken in the video conference with the PM on Monday. If required, we will extend the lockdown for 15 more days after May 3. It may only be for the containment zones, if not for the entire Mumbai and Pune,” he said.

Maharahstra, which has the highest number of Covid-19 positive cases in the country, also decided not to implement the home ministry’s order of opening standalone or neighbourhood shops. “As on today, we are of the opinion that there will be no change in the lockdown order and so we haven’t allowed any new shops to open in the state. We want the status quo to be maintained till May 3,” said Tope.

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