Next lockdown phase won’t be like earlier ones, says PM Modi

Next lockdown phase won’t be like earlier ones, says PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that ‘Lockdown 4.0’, starting 18 May, will be “totally different" from the previous phases, and the contours will be decided on the basis of suggestions received from state governments.
There may be more relaxations, but people will have to continue taking precautions, including wearing masks and social distancing, Modi said in his fifth address to the nation since March, which lasted 33 minutes.
The prime minister’s comments came as the third phase of lockdown is scheduled to end on 17 May. India has been under a lockdown since 25 March.
There was a complete lockdown across the country in the first phase, while the subsequent phases have had certain relaxations, including the opening up of offices with limited capacity and delivery of non-essential goods in orange and green zones.


Restrictions could be eased further in Lockdown 4.0 in areas that are not considered hotspots, given that the prime minister spoke of reviving the economy and making India self-reliant.
“Lockdown 4.0 will be in a completely different form. It will be with new rules. With the inputs that we are getting from the states, we will announce the new information on Lockdown 4.0 before 18 May. I am confident that by obeying all the rules, we will be fighting corona and moving forward," Modi said.
“There is a saying that what is in our power, what is in our control give us happiness. Self-reliance not only makes us happy, but also empowers us. Our responsibility to make the 21st century India’s will only be complete by the pledge of making India self-reliant," he added.

In a meeting with chief ministers on Monday, Modi had asked states to submit their suggestions by 15 May.
Some state governments had asked for powers to start economic activities in zones that were considered relatively free from the virus, while others had advised caution on restarting train and air services.
Modi exhorted people to work towards their targets while taking precautions such as wearing masks and maintaining “do gaz doori" (two-feet distance). He said it was important to ensure that our life does not revolve only around covid-19.
“All experts and scientists say corona will remain a part of our lives for a long time. However, we can’t allow ourselves to be limited by the challenge of covid-19. We will have to wear a mask, we will have to maintain social distancing, but we will not allow our goals to be affected by this," said Modi.

Stringent measures, exempting only essential goods and services, were put in place on 25 March after the PM’s speech announcing a nationwide lockdown. Subsequently, in the second phase, some measures were eased to allow select activities, including harvesting of crops and work under the rural employment guarantee scheme. The government relaxed measures on 4 May, when the third phase of the lockdown started, to kick-start economic activity. It permitted stand-alone shops to open, besides allowing limited construction work and the movement of people in certain areas. The government had announced various relaxations on the basis of the number of covid-19 cases across districts, which were identified as red, orange and green zones. In orange and green zones, for instance, cab aggregators were permitted, with two passengers, besides the driver. Inter-district movement of individuals and vehicles was allowed only for permitted activities.

The Union home ministry had also said that movement for non-essential purposes were allowed, barring the 7pm-7am window. It also said domestic helps could resume work subject to permission from residents’ welfare societies, and provided that the employers arrange for transportation.
Liquor, paan and gutka stores were also allowed to function, and sale of non-essentials by e-commerce firms was allowed in orange and green zones.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that ‘Lockdown 4.0’, starting 18 May, will be “totally different" from the previous phases, and the contours will be decided on the basis of suggestions received from state governments.

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