Lockdown extended by two more weeks
NEWDELHI, 2nd May: The nationwide coronavirus lockdown will be extended by two weeks after May 4, the government has said.
The home ministry has also issued new guidelines to regulate different activities in this period, based on the risk profiling of the districts of the country into red (hotspot), green and orange zones.
The guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations in the districts falling in the Green and Orange Zones.
Travel by air, rail, metro and inter-state movement by road will remain banned.
Under the new guidelines, a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country, irrespective of the Zone. Schools, colleges and other educational and training/ coaching institutions; hospitality services, including hotels and restaurants; places of large public gatherings, such as cinema halls, malls, gyms and sports complexes will also stay shut. Social, political, cultural and other kinds of gatherings; and, religious places/ places of worship for public will also not be allowed.
However, movement of persons by air, rail and road is allowed for select purposes, and for purposes as permitted by the Home Ministry.
Meanwhile, following demands made by several state governments for special non-stop trains to transport stranded migrant workers to their respective states, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday allowed use of trains to ferry people stranded due to lockdown.
As per MHA guidelines, special trains will run from point to point on request of both state governments as per protocols for sending and receiving stranded persons, Indian Railways said.
It has been decided to run "Shramik Special" trains from International Workers' Day on May 1, Railways said. A total of six 'Shramik' trains will ferry the migrant workers-- Lingampally to Hatia, Nasik to Lucknow, Aluva to Bhub, Nasik to Bhopal, Jaipur to Patna and Kota to Hatia. "These special trains will be run from point to point on the request of both the state governments concerned as per the standard protocols for sending and receiving such stranded persons. The railways and state governments shall appoint senior officials as nodal officers for coordination and a smooth operation of these 'Shramik Specials'," the national transporter said.