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U’khand may go in for phased unlock from 1 June

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 29 May:  Given the fact that the number of fresh Corona cases are showing a rapid decline in Uttarakhand with the number of fresh cases of Corona everyday falling below 2,000, sources indicated that the state government was mulling on unlocking the lockdown in a phased manner from 1 June onwards. However, the Centre has warned the state against doing away with the lockdown before 30 June. An advisory issued by the Centre says that caution was required in unlocking the lockdown in the states in spite of the fact that the total number of cases detected per day was declining now.

Sources added that the government could permit opening of the markets including shops of  ‘non essential consumable items from 1 June besides the grocery shops, dairies, meat and poultry and bakery items which were allowed to open even now. Though grocery shops are currently being allowed to open only on selected days and that too between 8 and 12 noon, the government may permit extended opening time for shops. However the private and government offices may be permitted to open with limited attendance of the employees while the schools and colleges are likely to remain closed. Malls, Cinema theatres, gymnasiums, swimming pools are however likely to remain closed for the time being.  The Union Home Ministry has given permission to all the states to take a decision on the restrictions by assessing the current situation with strict instructions by June 30. Hence the restrictions of some kind or the other like early closure, night curfews or weekend curfews may remain in force till 30 June, till the situation comes under better control. Similarly, the Char Dham Yatra may also remain suspended along with the restrictions on tourism in Uttarakand. There are apprehensions that an abrupt end to the Corona lockdown may again lead to a fresh surge in the number of cases in the state and therefore during the phased unlocking, restrictions on many activities is likely to continue, though the effect on the economy of the state does compel the state to mull on allowing certain kind of economic activities in the state from 1 June onwards.

It may be recalled that Government Spokesman and Cabinet Minister Subodh Uniyal as well as Chief Secretary Om Prakash had made it clear that the restrictions would be removed only when the number of infected people came below 1000 per day.