The Telangana government on Tuesday extended the lockdown in the state to contain the spread of the coronavirus till May 29. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said the decision to extend the lockdown was taken irrespective of the Centre’s date for the same till May 17 for more effective implementation of restrictions to tackle the infection.
“People want lockdown extended,” the chief minister added. “We will definitely implement it seriously. Night curfew will be there in the entire state. At any cost. There will be serious curfew after 7 pm. Telangana is flattening the curve and it should be brought to zero.”
Out of the 33 districts in the state – Hyderabad, Medchal-Malkajgiri, Ranga Reddy have a high number of cases, Rao said. “We cannot compromise here and take any risks,” he added. “66% of all cases of the total cases in the state are reported from the three districts.”
The chief minister assured that the state government would implement the Centre’s guidelines, but refused to accept its suggestion that shops be opened in the red zones. Telangana has six districts in the red zone, 18 in orange and nine in the green zone. Rao said only shops providing essential services, those related to construction and agricultural activity will remain open in the red zones.
It may be stated that the state government will review the situation on May 15 and the chief minister allowed relaxations in rural and municipal areas. The shops will be allowed to open 100% in rural areas but only 50% of shops can function alternately day-after-day in municipal areas. The selection of shops will be done by lottery. The shops will be open from 10 am to 6 pm but curfew conditions will be reimposed not only there but also red zones from 7 pm to 6 am.
He added that liquor stores will be permitted to open from Wednesday, except 15 shops in the containment zones.
Telangana, which has 1,096 coronavirus cases, had extended its lockdown till May 7 even before the Centre’s extension. Over 620 people have been discharged after treatment in the state. India’s tally, meanwhile, rose to 46,711 coronavirus cases and 1,583 deaths on Tuesday evening.