Lockdown extended till May 6 with few more restrictions
The state government on Wednesday decided to extend the ongoing weeklong lockdown, named as Swasthya Surakasha Saptah (SSS), for one more week till May 6 with few more restrictions in a bid to curb spread of coronavirus infection in the state, officials said.
The lockdown, that was scheduled to come to an end around 6am on April 29, will now be effective till 6am on May 6. The decision was taken at the state disaster management authority (SDMA) meeting on Wednesday, chaired by chief minister Hemant Soren. “Keeping in mind the current trend of Covid-19, the government has decided to extend the Swasthya Suraksha Saptah till 6am on May 6,” Soren said.
Excluding shops providing essential services, all others will be permitted to open till 2pm only from the earlier timing of 8pm. “In a bid to ensure protection from the virus, we have partially modified the SSS. The shops that were permitted to open till 8pm can now remain open till 2pm, excluding those of essential services,” the CM said.
A senior secretary level officer, who was also present in the SDMA, said excluding pharmaceutical shops, all other shops, including that of grocery, liquor, and vegetables and fruits, will open till 2pm only.
The government, however, did not take any decision on public transport, sources present at the meeting said.
It was also decided to increase number of oxygen beds and non-oxygen beds in the state. “We have decided that 50 additional non-oxygen beds will be ensured in each district so that persons, whose oxygen level have returned to normalcy, can be shifted and treated in the hospital premises,”Soren said.
The government imposed SSS from April 22 after cases of Covid-19 soared manifolds. However, despite the lockdown, the number of cases and deaths did not come down. The state recorded 28,463 cases since the weeklong lockdown came into effect till April 27, while as many as 531 died due to the disease during the period.
Various sectors and political parties, including the Opposition, demanded the extension in lockdown. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded for complete lockdown, while Congress party demanded extension of the ongoing SSS.