After over two months of lockdown and containment zones declared across various parts of the country amid the second wave of the pandemic, several states like Delhi, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu started unlocking on Monday, 7 June, as the number of COVID-19 cases see an exponential decline.
While the national capital has taken the odd-even approach for shops and businesses to resume, Maharashtra has applied a five-level strategy for unlocking depending on the positivity rate of the area and the percentage of oxygen beds occupied.
As cases dropped in Delhi, the government started the process of unlocking the state from Monday, with markets resuming operations on the basis of the odd-even formula from 10 am to 8 pm.
However, the lockdown will continue in Delhi with some relaxations allowed by the state government.
Government and private offices have been allowed to open with 50 percent strength. The Metro services, too, have resumed with 50 percent capacity, though passengers were reported to have flouted norms at several places.
RP Meena, DCP South-East told ANI that the police force had virtual meetings with market welfare associations to discuss steps to unlock with COVID protocols, including thermal scanning and social distancing.
Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava urged people to exercise caution despite unlocking.
“Unlock may have happened but the public must exercise caution. People must remember that the impact of the disease has reduced but it is still out there. We have removed barricades to ease movement of traffic,” he told ANI.
Maharashtra, the worst-hit state in the country, began undergoing a five-level unlock strategy from Monday, on the basis of two parameters: Case positivity rate and percentage of oxygen beds occupancy.
Queues at bus stops resumed at several places across the state while theatres and gyms have opened in several parts with the implementation of COVID-appropriate behaviour.
The five-level unlock plan goes as follows:
- Level 1: If a district witnesses less than 5 percent positivity rate and less than 25 percent oxygen beds occupancy
- Level 2: Administrative units that have less than 5 percent positivity rate and between 25-40 percent oxygen beds occupancy
- Level 3: Districts with a positivity rate falling between 5 to 10 percent or over 40 percent oxygen beds occupancy
- Level 4: Positivity rate between 10 -20 percent or the number of oxygen beds occupied is over 60 percent
- Level 5: Districts that have a positivity rate of over 20 percent or the oxygen beds occupancy is over 75 percent.
Click here to read the detailed unlock guidelines.
As Mumbai falls in Level 3, Mayor Kishori Pednekar said that more unlocking desions will be taken with time.
“As unlock process begins today (Monday), few restrictions have been eased. Local trains are running only for essential services for now. Decision on whether to open it up for the general public will be taken after a week, depending on the COVID situation in the city,” she told ANI.
While the existing lockdown in Tamil Nadu, that has been in place since 10 May was extended till 14 June, there are some relaxations in the restrictions.
Vegetable shops, meat shops, and grocery stores that were not allowed to function since 25 May are now being permitted to function from 6 am to 5 pm, alongside some other relaxations in the curbs.
While government offices have begun to operate with a 30 percent workforce capacity, registration offices are now permitted to function with 50 tokens every day.
Click here to read all the new guidelines in the states.