Jharkhand extends lockdown-like curbs till June 10 in view of Covid-19 situation
The Jharkhand government on Tuesday extended the lockdown-like restrictions till June 10 with some easing, an official said. This is the fourth time that the curbs, first imposed on April 22 for a week, were extended. The ongoing measures to contain the coronavirus surge were scheduled to end on June 3.
"The Health Safety Week now stands extended till June 10. Some relaxations have been given, including the opening of all shops in 15 districts from 6 am to 2 pm with certain conditions," the official said. The decision was made at a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority chaired by chief minister Hemant Soren.
As per the order, the districts have been divided into two categories and in 15 of the 24 districts witnessing lesser cases, all shops will be open. In the remaining nine districts, including state capital Ranchi, which are witnessing a high number of deaths, shops other than clothes, jewelry, and shoes have been allowed, the official added.
Apart from Ranchi, these districts are - Bokaro, Dhanbad, Jamshedpur, Deoghar, Hazaribag, Garhwa, Gumla, and Ramgarh. All malls and multi-brand shops will remain closed. Norms for travelling have also been relaxed and e-passes would not be required for movement within the district, the order said. However, an e-pass will be needed for inter-district and inter-state movements.
Chief minister Soren had earlier sought suggestions from stakeholders including people for gradually unlocking the restrictions. The state secretariat will function with 33% staff strength till 2pm, the official said. The restrictions include mandatory 7-day home or institutional quarantine for people visiting Jharkhand barring those who will leave the state within 72 hours.
Jharkhand has already prohibited all indoor and outdoor congregations of more than five persons. All education centers and coaching institutions were closed and all examinations postponed. Cinema halls, multiplexes, stadiums, gymnasiums, swimming pools, and parks, among others, had also been closed in the state. Agriculture, industries, and mining operations, besides emergency services, are allowed to function. The government is making all efforts to save both human lives and their livelihood, the chief minister said.
The death toll in Jharkhand rose to 4,991, while the coronavirus tally stood at 3,37,774. Jharkhand now has 8,907 active cases, while 3,23,876 patients have recovered from the disease. Altogether, 84,84,836 samples have been tested for Covid-19 in Jharkhand, including 50,338 since Monday, it added.
The state has sought the Centre's intervention, including free vaccines, to tide over the crisis and has also ordered a death audit in five districts witnessing high fatalities. Chief minister Soren, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, termed the mandate for states to procure medicines as against cooperative federalism.
"This is probably for the first instance in the history of independent India that the states have been mandated to procure vaccines on their own," he said. Since the advent of the second wave of Covid-19, the death rate in the state increased from 0.9% to 1.46%, as several districts reported a high number of fatalities.