Bihar Unlock 2: Shops to open till 6 pm, night curfew duration reduced
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar announced on Tuesday that shops and offices will be allowed to operate for one extra hour from Wednesday and night curfew will be cut short by four hours in the second phase of Unlock in recognition of the state’s improving Covid-19 situation.
Kumar, who earlier in the day chaired a meeting of the crisis management group with ministers and senior officials of the state, said the relaxations will remain in effect till June 22.
“For the next one week, office timings will be till 5 pm, however, all government and private offices will function with 50% of their strength,” Kumar said. Offices were allowed to function till 4 pm during Unlock 1, which was announced last week on June 8 after 35-days long lockdown in the state.
The lockdown was clamped on May 5 and was extended four times, the last being on June 2, to contain a record rise in Covid-19 infections in the state, which began in April and continued till May end, paralysing the healthcare system and resulting into deaths of hundreds of patients while the state struggled to augment number of beds, oxygen supply and essential medicines while containing black marketing of life saving drugs and equipment by unscrupulous elements.
The CM further stated that all shops will now be allowed to operate till 6 pm on alternate days and the night curfew will now be in force between 8 pm and 5 am. During unlock 1, shops were allowed to open from 6 am till 5 pm on alternate days and the night curfew was imposed from 5 pm till 6 am.
The relaxations come after the state reported only 324 new Covid cases on Monday and the recovery rate rose to 98.01% with only 4,771 cases remaining active. The state also reported 13 Covid-19 deaths on Monday, taking the total death tally to 9,505.
All education institutions and religious places will however remain closed till further order.