Night curfew from 9 PM to 5 AM; decision on educational institutions in July
STATE TIMES NEWSNew Delhi: The nationwide lockdown in containment zones will continue till June 30 but extensive relaxations including opening of religious places and shopping malls in a phased manner from June 8 are listed in the Union Home Ministry’s fresh guidelines on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic issued on Saturday. The fresh guidelines said the lockdown in containment zones across the country has been extended till June 30. The Centre has given more powers to the states and union territories to ascertain and define a containment zone. Delhi at present has 102 containment zones.
Nationwide virus cases rise to 1,73,763; deaths 4,971 New Delhi: The doubling time of coronavirus cases in India has improved to 15.4 days from 13.3 days, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday, as the country’s COVID-19 death toll climbed to 4,971 and the total cases rose to 1,73,763. The doubling time improved during the past three days, it said. As many as 11,264 COVID-19 patients have been cured in the last 24 hours till Saturday 8 am, the highest number of recoveries recorded in one day, pushing India’s recovery rate to 47.40 per cent, it said. However, the country registered a record single-day spike of 265 deaths and 7,964 cases till Saturday 8 am, according to the ministry. India is the now the ninth worst-hit nation by the pandemic. While the number of active COVID-19 cases stood to 86,422, a total of 82,369 coronavirus infected patients have recovered so far. “During the last 24 hours, a total of 11,264 COVID-19 patients have been cured. This is the highest number of recoveries recorded in a day. “This has resulted in a recovery rate of 47.40 pc amongst COVID-19 patients, an increase of 4.51 per cent, from the previous day’s recovery rate of 42.89 per cent,” the health ministry said. Owing to the high number of recovered patients, the number of active patients has also declined from 89,987 patients on May 29 to 86,422 active cases presently, the ministry said in a statement adding all the patients are under active medical supervision. “As on May 30, the doubling time in the past 14 days was 13.3, it has improved to 15.4 days in the last three days. The fatality rate stands at 2.86 per cent,” the statement said. As on May 29, 2.55 per cent of the active COVID-19 patients are in the ICU, 0.48 per cent on ventilators and 1.96 per cent are on oxygen support. The testing capacity has increased in the country through 462 government laboratories and 200 private laboratories. Cumulatively, 36,12,242 tests have been done so far for COVID-19, whereas, 1,26,842 samples were tested yesterday, the ministry said. As far as the health infrastructure in the country for management of COVID-19 is concerned, 942 dedicated COVID hospitals with 1,58,908 isolation beds, 20,608 ICU beds and 69,384 oxygen supported beds are available as of now. Also, 2,380 dedicated COVID Health Centres with 1,33,678 Isolation beds; 10,916 ICU beds and 45,750 oxygen supported beds have been operationalised. Besides,10,541 quarantine centres and 7,304 COVID Care Centres with 6,64,330 beds are presently available to combat COVID-19 in the country. The Centre has also provided 119.88 lakh N95 masks and 96.14 lakh Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to the states, UTs and central Institutions.
Unveiling the phased reopening, the fresh guidelines said activities at religious places, opening of hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services and shopping malls will start from June 8. The Home Ministry also asked the Union Health Ministry to issue standard operating procedures for these sectors after consulting other ministries, departments and other stakeholders to ensure social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19. In the second phase, opening of educational institutions including schools and colleges will be undertaken in July in consultation with states and union territories, who in the meantime, shall hold meetings at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. “Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July, 2020,” the guidelines said and added that the health ministry will prepare SOPs for these institutions. Limited number of activities including international air travel, metro rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls shall remain suspended for the time being. Social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural and other large congregations including religious shall also remain suspended, the order said, adding that a decision on these would be taken in third phase after making an assessment of the situation. The home ministry said within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities will be allowed. The ministry also reiterated that there shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods and no additional permission required for such travels. “However, if a state or UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed,” it said. The ministry also made it clear that movement of passenger trains and ‘Shramik specials’ meant to ferry migrant workers, domestic air travel and return of Indian nationals stranded outside the country will continue to be regulated as per the standard operating procedure. The government also eased night curfew which shall now remain in force from 9 PM to 5 AM during which movement of individuals and all non-essential activities will not be allowed. Earlier, the timing was from 7 PM to 7 AM. The ministry advised persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes. Issuing additional directives, the fresh guidelines advocated ‘Work from Home’ (WFH) as far as possible besides staggering of work hours.
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