Covid-19 2nd peak: As daily cases rise, what Centre says on lockdown

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On March 25, 2020, a nationwide lockdown was imposed in India to contain the spread of the Covid-19 infection. All movements, including that of trains, flights, buses, were prohibited. Only essential services were allowed. As one year of the imposition of the lockdown approaches, several states are imposing local lockdowns, border restrictions to make sure cases are not imported from areas that are particularly reporting a massive outbreak.

However, there is not likely to be another national-level lockdown, the Centre has made it clear as the focus is on tracking new infections, not shutting down establishments. In its latest guideline for the month of April, the ministry of home affairs said all activities have been permitted outside containment zones. These activities include movement by passenger trains; air travel; metro trains; schools; higher educational institutions; hotels and restaurants; shopping malls, multiplexes and entertainment parks; yoga centres and gymnasiums; exhibitions, assemblies and congregations, etc.

Focus on Covid-19 test-track-treat, may impose district-level lockdown: Centre

While the SOPs (Standard operating procedure) for each of these activities will have to be followed, there will be no restriction on the interstate and intrastate movement of persons and goods, the Centre said. By restrictions, it meant separate permission, approval, e-permit, while most states are making Covid-19 tests mandatory for people coming from other states.

Lockdown ensures containment of the infection for just a specific period of time, but tracking, testing should be the focus at this moment, the Centre has been emphasising, after the process of unlocking began in 2020.

However, lockdown can be an option at district/sub-district and city/ward level, with a view to containing the spread of the infection, based on the assessment of the situation, the Centre said.

On being asked about what the Centre is thinking on lockdown given the sudden spurt in infections, Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday said, “Centre is in constant touch with the states which are reporting a surge in Covid-19 infections. We are hopeful that the situation will improve in the coming days.”

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