New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Nitish Kumar government on Tuesday announced a complete lockdown in Bihar till May 15 amid the unabated spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths. All non-essential establishments will remain closed while essential services will remain operational in the state.

"After discussion with the associate ministers and officials yesterday, it has been decided to implement the lockdown in Bihar by May 15, 2021. The crisis management group has been instructed to act on the detailed guidelines and other activities today," Kumar said in a tweet. 

During the lockdown, all schools, colleges and other educational institutions along with shopping malls and local markets, restaurants and bars, gyms, hair salons, spas and swimming pools will remain closed. 

All health services, including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, vaccination centres will remain functional and people will be allowed to proceed to the anti-COVID vaccination centres. Dispensaries, chemists, pharmacies, all kinds of medicine shops  and medical equipment shops will remain functional.

What remains closed

  • Schools and colleges
  • Shopping malls
  • Dine-in at restaurants
  • Bars and liquor shops
  • Gyms
  • Swimming pools
  • Hair salons and spas
  • Private offices
  • State govt offices

What remains open

  • Medicine stores
  • Food delivery
  • Online delivery of essential items
  • Pathology labs and testing centres
  • Vaccination centres
  • Hospitals, nursing homes and dispensaries
  • Single departmental stores selling essential items

The decision of the Chief Minister came after Patna High Court on Monday asked the state government to control the COVID-19 situation and declare a lockdown or it will have to pass an appropriate order.

Earlier, the Bihar government has imposed a night curfew in the state till March 15.

The move also comes after the Supreme Court on Monday said that the Centre and states may consider imposing a “lockdown to curb the virus in the second wave in the interest of public welfare”.

However, the apex court put a caveat before them saying if they decide to go for lockdown then arrangements must be made beforehand to cater to the needs of the poor people.

A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud, in its order passed in the suo motu case for ensuring essential supplies and services during the COVID-19 pandemic, also asked the Centre and state governments to put on record the efforts taken and to be taken by them in future to ensure that the disease does not spread further.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta