The national lockdown will continue for another two weeks after May 4. However, there will be some relaxation, based on the classification of the country’s 733 districts into red zones (hot spots) where all the restrictions will continue, and into green and orange zones where there will be a considerable relaxation.
After a comprehensive review, and in view of the lockdown measures having led to significant gains in the COVID-19 situation in the country, we are extending the lockdown for a further period of two weeks effective May 4– Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
- The Health Ministry had earlier divided the country into 130 Red-Zone districts, 284 Orange-Zone districts, and 319 Green-Zone districts. All the metro cities, including Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Chennai have been categorised as Red Zones.
- In all zones, persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, shall stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes. The MHA order further stated that movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities, shall remain strictly prohibited between 7 pm to 7 am.
- Containment Zones are the most sensitive areas of the country (where threat of rapid COVID-19 spread is highest) that fall within the Red and Orange Zones. The containment areas would be defined by the respective District Administrations, taking into account the total number of active cases, their geographical spread, and the need to have well-demarcated perimeters from the enforcement point of view.
- According to the MHA decree, the local authority must guarantee 100% coverage of the Aarogya Setu application among residents of the containment area. The containment zones would have intensified surveillance protocols, with contact tracing, house to house surveillance, home / institutional quarantine of people based on their risk assessment and clinical management. Strict perimeter control must be ensured so that there is no movement of people into and out of these areas, except in the event of a medical emergency, and to maintain the supply of essential goods and services.
- Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat said the Air Force will conduct fly-pasts from Srinagar to Trivandrum, and another from Dibrugarh in Assam to Kutch in Gujarat on May 3 to express gratitude to all COVID-19 warriors. It will include both transport and fighter aircraft. He was accompanied by the three serving military chiefs — army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh, and air force chief R.K.S. Bhadauria.
- The Railway Ministry, as per the direction, has decided to run ‘Shramik Special’ trains to move persons stranded at different places, from point to point, on the request of the concerned State Governments. In the first such move, a special train from Telangana to Jharkhand, carrying about 1,200 migrant workers, was operated.
Pandemic can last two years: Report
- A report released by a group of experts from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), University of Minnesota, says the global COVID-19 outbreak is likely to last for 18 to 24 months. “It likely won’t be halted until 60% to 70% of the [world] population is immune,” said the report, which also noted, “Because of a longer incubation period, more asymptomatic spread, and a higher R0, COVID-19 appears to spread more easily than flu.” According to a story published on this study by Bloomberg, the experts also warned that people should be prepared for possible periodic resurgences of the disease over the next two years, and that government officials should incorporate into their messaging the likelihood that the pandemic will not be over soon.
- The number of coronavirus cases in India had risen to 36,947 and the death toll stood at 1,213. The number of active cases was 26,109. On Thursday, Maharashtra crossed the 10,000-case mark, reporting 583 new cases and 27 deaths. Tamil Nadu today reported 203 more cases, its largest single-day spike, with the total number of cases in the State now at 2,526. The total number of discharged persons in the state is 1,312.
- U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden on May 1 emphatically denied sexually assaulting a former staffer, saying the incident that allegedly happened 27 years ago never happened, They aren’t true. Biden said in a statement regarding the accusations made by Tara Reade, a former staffer in his U.S. Senate office. With this statement Biden, the presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee, broke a month of silence on the accusations.
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday he was considering extending the country’s state of emergency by another month as experts said coronavirus restrictions should remain in place until the number of cases falls further. The emergency is now due to expire on May 6 but Abe said the situation remains tough and further cooperation is needed from Japanese citizens. Ryan air plans to cut as many as 3,000 jobs and close bases in Europe amid the collapse of travel due to the pandemic. The budget airline announced a restructuring programme that includes plans for unpaid leave and pay cuts of as much as 20%. It will operate less than 1% flights from April to June.