New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The focus of the ‘new and different’ Lockdown 4.0, which will come into effect from May 18, will be normalcy on ground. According to a media report, public transport - road and air - will be the first area where the government is likely to provide considerable relaxations in the fourth phase of the lockdown.

According to a report by NDTV, the boundaries for the relaxations in lockdown 4.0 will be defined by the states’ blueprint of the situation on ground, sought by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday during the marathon meeting with the CMs to discuss the roadmap ahead of May 17.

Also Read: ‘Open markets, malls on odd-even basis, resume bus, metro services with strict social distancing norms’: Delhi tells Centre

The report by NDTV also quoted officials involved in drawing up the Lockdown 4.0 guidelines, that Centre is likely to fulfil one of the key demand by chief ministers of several states to allow them to define their hotspots within the state.  

Explaining about the relaxations during lockdown 4.0, an official as quoted by NDTV said, “Local buses will start plying with limited capacity in non-hotspot zones. Autos and taxis will also be allowed, with restrictions on the number of passengers. Most of these will be allowed to ply within the districts in non-containment zones”.

 

“Interstate travel may also be opened up but only for those with travel passes”, the official said adding, that “the government is also planning to open up the skies for domestic sectors from next week”.

The officials also said that the Centre is also expected to open e-commerce services and allow home delivery of all items instead of just essentials. "Most states agree that stringent steps should be taken to contain the spread of virus," the official said.

"As they would be redefining the jurisdiction of their hotspots, no activity will be allowed in these zones. But in the rest, they want relaxations," he said, adding that before allowing that, "We are doing our own data crunching"

The report also stated that the Home Ministry’s data is particularly more focused on the number of people kept in isolation across the country. According to the report, around 11.9 lakh people are under observation across the nation, and if a large section of them would test positive, it will give a huge spike in the cases and will also increase the difficulty in contact tracing.  

Another home ministry official as reported by NDTV said that Maharashtra, which is the worst-effected state due to COVID-19, is planning to extend the lockdown in the state. "They don't want to allow any inter district movement as of now or offices to open. A few industries might be allowed in orange and green zones”, the official said.

Meanwhile, Gujarat, the second worst-hit state with 9,591 cases and over 2 lakh in quarantine, is demanding the resumption of all economic activities in major urban centres. But if the Centre allows the resumption, it will only result in a spurt in cases as 80 per cent of the total infections in the state are clustered in urban centres -- Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara. However, the government, the official said, will likely to ease some restrictions in districts where no cases have been reported.

The official also said that Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and Delhi are among the states demanding opening up of many sectors. Of these, Kerala might get its demands fulfilled because of their exceptional performance in containing the the virus.  

"Kerala wants resumption of metro services, local trains, domestic flights, restaurants and hotels to revive the tourism sector," he said adding that all of it is "feasible".

Also Read: Lockdown 4.0: MHA guidelines expected by May 15, here's what relaxations may be allowed in 'new rules'

 

However, the eastern states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha are demanding the continuation of the strict lockdown as their COVID-19 case are increasing at pace due to the return of migrant labourers from different parts of the country, the official said. 

Posted By: Talib Khan