By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 22 May: While the number of fresh cases everyday of Corona infections have come down rapidly in the state, and in particular in Dehradun district, the state government is not considering to lift the Covid lockdown in the state with effect from 25 May. The situation of Corona in the hills has not improved much in the past week though, in cities like Dehradun, the infection rate has decreased significantly. Sources in the government said that the administration was very concerned about the Corona situation in the hills and other rural areas and particularly in view of a similar concern expressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself during a recent review meeting.
Chief Secretary Om Prakash also indicated that the government was not mulling on relaxation of Covid curfew till the daily infection numbers fell below 1,000. Only then could the government consider relaxation in state wide curfew in force. He also indicated that the government was now focussed on increasing testing more in the hills and villages.
Sources added that the administration felt that in the hills, Covid had entered and spread through the migrants who had returned to their native villages from other states due to lockdown or because of having lost their employment. It is estimated that over one lakh persons have returned to their native villages in the hills during the second wave of Corona so far. Therefore increased tracing and testing is required in the hills.
At the same time, Cabinet Minister and government spokesman Subodh Uniyal also indicated that a strict Covid curfew was likely to follow beyond the stipulated deadline of 25 May unless the rate of the infection decreased substantially. In the eventuality of the decrease, a decision to relax curfew could be considered.
Indications are that similar strict restrictions might be continued till 31 May and that nobody would still be allowed to enter the state without a negative RTPCR test report. Om Prakash too indicated this and he said that this restriction wasn’t likely to be relaxed soon. However, some kind of relaxation in respect of market opening timings could be possible if the decline in the number of fresh Corona cases continued further.
Subodh Uniyal said that preparations were being made to gear up the administration for a possible third wave of the pandemic. In such case, hotels in the vicinity of hospitals could be acquired on arrival of children due to infection where they would be able to stay with their parents.