30 cities should have maximum restrictions in lockdown 4.0: Official
Complete list of 30 cities that may have the maximum restriction under Covid lockdown 4.0 to be announced on Sunday
Thirty municipal areas including Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata that account for nearly 80% of India’s coronavirus cases should have the maximum restrictions under the Home Ministry’s lockdown 4.0 ground rules, the health ministry has told the government.
The third round of the lockdown, first imposed on March 24 midnight, is due to end on Sunday night.
There is no word on the extent of the restrictions that would be imposed in lockdown 4.0. The ground rules for the next round would be made public on Sunday.
The last version of the lockdown that came into effect from 4 May had introduced considerable relaxations in districts that had not reported Covid-19 cases and eased restrictions elsewhere. The Centre’s objective, starting from the first round of relaxations from 21 April, has been to gradually resume economic activity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had this week told chief ministers that the Centre would opt for another spell of the national lockdown but made it clear that lockdown 4.0 would be very different from the earlier three versions. He had also indicated that this time, the Centre would give a long rope to the states to decide how to ease the restrictions.
The rules for lockdown 4.0 have been designed to give a hard push to resumption of economic activity but continue some of the restrictions in municipal areas that have reported a large proportion of the restrictions.
These 30 municipalities are spread across 12 states. Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu account for over one-third of these municipalities. Gujarat and Rajasthan have three cities each in this list and West Bengal, two.
The government’s renewed focus on the urban areas comes in context of data that suggests these 30 cities are home to most of the country’s Covid-19 case.
On Saturday, Health Secretary Preeti Sudan held a special meeting with municipal and health officials from the 12 states where the 30 municipal corporations are located. The meeting discussed the high risk factors and reviewed indices such as confirmation rate, fatality rate, doubling rate, tests per million for these places. She also updated the states about the health ministry’s new guidelines aimed at such urban settlements, particularly informal settlements such as Mumbai’s Dharavi slums.
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Delhi account for nearly 68 per cent of India’s 86,000 Covid cases.
On Saturday, Maharashtra reported 1,600 new cases, one of the highest single-day spikes, pushing the state’s total to 30,706.