Considerable relaxation in many districts from May 4

Considerable relaxation from lockdown for many districts from May 4: MHA

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The COVID-19 lockdown will continue mainly in the country's hotspots beyond May 3 when the extended period of the restrictions end but "many" districts will get "considerable relaxations".

The clear indications about districts that have managed to tackle COVID-19 considerably well getting relaxations came after a review meeting held by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the lockdown situation on Wednesday.

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The MHA was of the view that there has been "tremendous gains and improvement" in the COVID-19 situation due to the lockdown till now and to ensure these are "not squandered away", the existing guidelines should be "strictly" observed till May 3.

"The new guidelines to fight COVID-19 will come into effect from May 4, which shall give considerable relaxations to many districts. Details regarding this shall be communicated in the days to come," an MHA spokesperson tweeted after the review meeting.

Sources said the possibilities are there that there could be substantial relaxations in 307 districts, which are at present in the green zone with practically not a single case. There are 297 districts in the orange zone where no cases has been detected in the past 14 days.

There are 128 districts in the country, which are in red zone, with high number of cases where the stringent lockdown measures are likely to continue.

While all the 11 districts in Delhi are in red zone, 15 of the 31 districts in Karnataka at present are in red zone, while three are in orange and the rest 13 in green zones.

India has been in a lockdown since March 25 and was extended till this Sunday on April 14. During a video conference by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several Chief Ministers had demanded that the lockdown ending on May 3 should be extended for at least a fortnight even as some states like Punjab and Telangana has already extended the lockdown beyond May 3.

From April 20, the Centre had allowed the resumption of economic activities with limited exemptions, especially to boost rural economy. While some of the states went ahead with these permitted activities, states like Delhi, Telangana and Punjab did not open up the states for such activities.

Earlier in the day, the MHA had allowed the inter-state shifting of stranded migrants, students, pilgrims, tourists and others to their native places by road after states conduct their screening.