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Lockdown likely to be extended till 30 April

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By ARUN PRATAP SINGH

DEHRADUN, 11 Apr: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video conference with the chief ministers of states has given ample indications that the nationwide lockdown is likely to be extended till 30 April. Though there was no official decision announced by the Centre today after the Video Conference, the Centre is likely to take a final
decision on lockdown and the exit plan from the lockdown in a day or two. The time period of the on going lockdown ends on 15 April. Even though, Uttarakhand continues to be in stage one of the pandemic spread, and no new case of corona infection was reported for second consecutive day today, the state government prefers to be on the safer side and has recommended extension of lockdown till 30 April. It is also almost clear that four wheelers may be permitted to ply during the relaxed hours between 7 am
and 1 pm but only within the district and not between one to another district or between the states. In almost every likelihood buses, trains and flights will also not operate at least 30 April. Four wheelers are not likely to be permitted to carry passengers. Only the drivers would be permitted to ply in cars except in the government vehicles and vehicles related to essential
services. Besides this, schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions will in all likelihood remain closed till 15 May, and they might be starting
online classes soon enough. In addition, some relaxation is likely in Uttarakhand on certain economic and essential activities such as agriculture, horticulture,
bee keeping, animal husbandry and fisheries. Some other industries are also likely to be permitted to start operations even as pharmaceutical companies continue to operate. But keeping in view the emphasis Modi today laid on social distancing and wearing masks, wearing masks for everyone stepping out of house is likely to be made compulsory till 31 May. Social distancing protocols currently being followed in markets, shops, banks etc are likely to be continued till 31 May. No sporting and other similar activity is likely to be permitted and gathering of more than 5 persons for any function or other social requirement is not likely to be permitted. For this Section 144 of CrPC will continue to remain in force. The enforcement of Disaster Management Act provisions is likely to continue till 31 May. In order to minimise possible suffering to the poor
workers as well as to minimise negative impact on economy, it is quite likely that several economic activities may be permitted to start soon even
during the lockdown.