India extends lockdown in high-risk zones till June 30

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Intl desk, May 31: India has extended its lockdown in high-risk zones till June 30 as coronavirus cases have spiked in the country.The Indian government, however, has allowed shopping malls, hotels and restaurants outside the virus contagion zones to reopen from June 8, more than two months after closure.

No Indian state or federally-ruled territory will stop the movement of any type of goods or cargo for cross-land border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries, the Indian home ministry said while announcing the extension of the lockdown.

The government imposed the lockdown first on March 25 to check the rapid spread of coronavirus. Since then, the lockdown has been extended three times.

Under tonight’s guidelines from the home ministry, religious places will now be allowed to reopen from June 8. The ministry’s new guidelines expand the phased re-opening of areas outside containment zones.

All activities suspended earlier will be opened up in areas outside containment zones in phases, the ministry’s guidelines said.

“Lockdown will continue to remain in force in the containment zones till June 30,” according to the guidelines.

A decision on reopening schools and colleges will be taken in July after consultations with states, parents and other stake-holders.

Restarting international flights, metro trains, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres and bars will also be allowed only after more consultations “based on the assessment of the situation”, the ministry said.

Across India, the number of Covid-19 cases has crossed 1.7 lakh and the death toll reached close to 5,000.

Source: News Agencies