PM Modi Indicates Lockdown May Extend Beyond May 3

All public and educational institutions, shopping malls and most public transport are slated to remain shut beyond May 3, the earlier deadline for the lockdown exit, if all early indications are to be believed., post a meeting between the PM and chief ministers of states.

In the meeting on Monday, these were the initial takeaways, among suggestions to convert the Covid-19 challenge into opportunities through state reforms individually. While no formal extension announcement has been made, chief ministers are likely to form relaxation policies based on the on-ground situations in their states.

Home delivery of non-essential goods and services will resume in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday. The state government is working on a plan to relax restrictions in phases and according to zones till May 21, which may be the case nationwide as well.

While areas are demarcated based on zones, according to infection risk,
chief ministers are in agreement that relaxation will be gradual and cautious. The PM urged people to continue the use of masks and sanitisers for a longer period. In the green zones districts, while public transport will still be under lockdown, private vehicles may see a staggered relaxation.

The ICMR on Monday asked all states and union territories to stop using the Chinese Covid-19 rapid antibody testing kits due to erratic performance issues.

A total of 85 districts in 25 states and Union territories have not reported any new cases, in a heartening development that should spread some positivity among the healthcare community as well as the general public.

Citizens have been directed to maintain a vigil at all times, so that no new cases surface.

60 DEATHS IN ONE DAY, AS TOTAL TALLY CROSSES 28,000-MARK

Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 cases in the country climbed to over 28000, with the death toll at just under 900, registering a record 60 deaths in 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry.

A final decision on lockdown will be taken during the weekend, officials said on Monday, after the meeting concluded.