Limited Lockdown 5.0 on cards; malls, metro may be back

Limited Lockdown 5.0 on cards; malls, metro may be back

With the Metro likely to resume in Lockdown 5.0, security staff go through a drill recently. DH file photo/Ranju P

Lockdown 5.0 for two weeks with stringent curbs in 11 cities that account for 70% of COVID-19 positive cases and a massive focus on ramping up testing in rural areas is on the anvil.

This will be accompanied by a substantial easing of restrictions in most parts of the country and further opening up of transport services like metro and buses, according to government sources.

Shopping malls, which have remained closed, could be opened in green zones but the government is still weighing the rise in the number of cases. 

In the Lockdown 5.0, the focus will be on active and aggressive containment in 11 cities with high spread -- Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Pune, Thane, Jaipur, Surat and Indore. In Lockdown 5.0 the perimeter of restricted areas in containment zones could be reduced.

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The thrust of Lockdown 5.0 is containing the pandemic spread in villages after reverse migration from metros. During his last interaction with CMs, Modi had said the effort should be to stop the spread of the virus to rural areas. 

Religious institutions are likely to be opened with strict implementation of social distancing norms and with a strict bar on mass gatherings and religious festivals. Karnataka’s BJP government has already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the reopening of all religious places from June 1. Opening of gyms could be a major relief of health buffs in Lockdown 5.0.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will deliver the 65th episode of his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat on May 31, could announce the broad contours of the fifth lockdown kicking in from June 1 in which he is likely to emphasise on making it a people’s movement on the lines of Swachh Bharat Mission as the counter pandemic strategy is now shifting from being government centric to people centric. The suggestions given by the people will form a key part of Lockdown 5.0.

The Centre, which had delegated most of the decision making to states in Lockdown 4.0, is likely to further empower states on the containment strategy the next lockdown, those in the know on Covid 19 strategy of the government say.

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