Pool testing to tightening of curbs, states draw plans for lockdown 2.0 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Pool testing to tightening of curbs, states draw plans for lockdown 2.0

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondents
Apr 15, 2020 07:45 PM IST

Telangana will begin doorstep delivery of essentials in Hyderabad, the state capital, to make sure residents stay indoors. Tamil Nadu intends to tighten restrictions on public movement.

Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, will start pool testing of people for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) on Wednesday, strictly enforce the lockdown and will not allow any inter-district travel. Bihar will start door-to-door screening of residents.

Stranded migrant workers and homeless people queue to collect food at Safdarjung Enclave during lockdown, in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
Stranded migrant workers and homeless people queue to collect food at Safdarjung Enclave during lockdown, in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Telangana will begin doorstep delivery of essentials in Hyderabad, the state capital, to make sure residents stay indoors. Tamil Nadu intends to tighten restrictions on public movement.

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Those are the plans some state governments intend to implement over the next few days until April 20 when the Centre will assess the effectiveness with which the states have implemented the lockdown to decide on the resumption of “necessary activities” in some geographies.

Also read| Covid-19: What you need to know today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held out the hoper of a staggered exit in some areas in an address to the nation in which he announced an extension of the three-week lockdown, which was to end on Tuesday, until May 3. The relaxation in lockdown restrictions will be determined partly by the states’ effectiveness in preventing the emergence of new coronavirus hotpsots.

Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states such as Uttar Pradesh, Uttarkhand and Madhya Pradesh, and others such as Maharashtra said they will prepare their strategies after the Centre on Wednesday releases guidelines for the possible relaxation in restrictions after April 20.

States across the country plan to divide their regions into red, yellow and green zones based on high, limited and no cases of Covid-19. Here are some state-specific strategies for the second phase of the lockdown.

Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand

In Uttar Pradesh, district administration officers and superintendents of police will strictly enforce the lockdown; no inter-district travel will be allowed until April 20. Pool testing of samples, which entails testing for the coronavirus in batches -- a method that can be used to do up to three times as many tests with the same number of kits -- will start from Wednesday. All migrant workers in quarantine will be screened for Covid-19 before they are allowed to leave. Harvesting of the rabi crop and transportation of foodgrains to the farm markets will continue.

Uttarkhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat formed a task force to study the impact of Covid-19 on the state’s economy. He announced a waiver of late payment surcharge on farmers and relaxation in payment of power and water bills.

Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand

Chhattisgarh has formed a task force to suggest measures to manage the second phase of lockdown; it will announce its plans after the Centre makes public the guidelines for relaxation of lockdown measure. Of the 28 districts, the only active Covid-19 patients are in Korba district.

The Jharkhand government announced immediate release of additional rations for all the needy in the state and resumption of works under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Maharashtra and Goa

Maharashtra plans to deploy additional police forces around containment areas for controlling crowds, especially in crowded areas such as Dharavi and Worli Koliwada. The state government formed a task force of specialist doctors to suggest measures to reduce the death rate and for management of Covid-19 patients in Mumbai.A decision on allowing industrial activity and easing of lockdown norms will be made only after the Centre announces its guidelines, officials said.

Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant vowed that the entire coastal state will be declared a green zone by April 17.

Haryana and Punjab

Haryana’s four Covid hotspots--- Nuh, Palwal, Gurugram and Faridabad -- fall in the National Capital Region (NCR). Eighty percent of the state’s active Covid-19 cases (114 out of total 143) have been reported from the four districts which are all in the red zone. The remaining districts fall in the green and yellow zones. Chief minister ML Khattar said industrial and economic activity will be started in a phased manner after April 14.

Punjab will continue with a strict containment strategy and will come out with detailed guidelines after the Centre’s notification on Wednesday.

Bihar: The Janata Dal (United)-BJP government will start door-to-door screening on Wednesday with plans to cover all villages where migrant workers have returned. Three villages — Panjwar, which accounts for 23 of the 29 cases, and Kadirabad and Murgiachak , have been declared red zones. Bihar will do block-wise mapping of the state with primary health care centres as nodal offices, said Sanjay Kumar Bihar’s principal secretary, health. Out of 38 districts, only 11 have Covid patients.

Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir

:Himachal has one red zone, four orange and one green zone and only five of the 12 districts have reported Covid-19 cases. There will be no relaxation of curfew until May 3, wearing of face masks will be mandatory and essential goods will be provided by the police and local administrations.

Jammu and Kashmir’s administration will ease lockdown restrictions in line with the Centre’s directive while maintaining a strict vigil in the hotspots.

Also read: India’s Covid fight so far is marked by hits and misses

Madhya Pradesh

State authorities will completely seal 564 localities in 278 containment areas in 22 districts from where most Covid-19 cases have been reported. Those violating lockdown norms will be booked, said commissioner, health services, Faiz Ahmad Kidwai. Testing of migrant labourers will be expanded.Manual work under the rural job guarantee scheme has been allowed in districts not affected by the coronavirus disease, and workers given homemade face masks. A detailed plan will be decided after the Centre’s notification.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who has batted for an easing of the lockdown, said the state government will follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision. Minister for municipal administration Botsa Satyanarayana said directions have been issued to collectors and health department officials to ensure that the Covid-19 does not spread to new areas. The CM directed officials to identify all people who have been taken ill, for whatever the reason and irrespective of whether they had any symptoms of Covid-19 or not, during an ongoing family survey and shift suspected coronavirus patients to hospital.

The Telagana government has decided to keep only one route open in containment zones and start home delivery of household supplies in Hyderabad. Any person suspected of carrying the virus will be hospitalised immediately, said KT Rama Rao, minister for municipal administration.

Tamil Nadu: Tamil Nadu’s government has appointed 12 senior Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service officers at the zonal level to monitor and coordinate the management of containment zones across the state. The state has started to impose a fine of Rs 500 on those venturing out without face masks. TN has allowed the opening of bakeries for a few hours a day and eased restrictions on the movement of seafood. Government officials say restrictions on public movement will become tighter in the coming days.

Northeast: Assam will wait till Centre’s guidelines on lockdown relaxations on Wednesday. Meghalaya has decided to track 2,000 contacts of the state’s first Covid patient. Tripura announced additional benefits for the poor. The northeast now has a total of 38 positive cases with Assam recording 30 of them; Manipur and Tripura have two cases each and Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh one each.

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