The nationwide COVID-19 lockdown is likely to be protracted for a third time beyond May 17 but more restrictions may be eased in areas that are not severely affected, government sources told a media house on Monday, following an online meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state chief ministers.
Restrictions like night curfew and curbs on public transport may continue in areas designated as Red Zones, a media report said quoting sources.
Addressing chief ministers via a video conference, the Prime Minister said he is of the "firm view that the measures needed in the first phase of lockdown were not needed during the second phase and similarly the measures needed in the third phase are not needed in the fourth," according to an official statement. Many states are in favor of recommencing economic activity outside containment zones as the lockdown entered the sixth week.
The prime minister asked the chief ministers to share by May 15 a broad strategy on how they want to deal with lockdown regime in their states. India imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Coronavirus cases in India crossed 67,000 on Monday, with 2,206 deaths, and at the current rate, it may surpass China which is likely to be around the 84,000-mark by May 17.
It will not come up as a surprise if the lockdown is pursued in Red Zones after May 17th.