The Chhattisgarh government has asked authorities in all the 28 districts to extend the COVID-19 lockdown till May 31 even as it granted more relaxations in economic and other activities, an official said on Saturday. The lockdown, currently in force in all districts of the state, was set to end in most regions at May 15 midnight.
“The lockdown will not be lifted in the state. Only certain relaxations will be granted, depending on the COVID-19 situation and risks in each of the districts," the official from the public relations department said. The restrictions and relaxations will be applicable till May 31, he said.
The state government had on May 4 asked all the districts to extend the lockdown, which was imposed in early April, till May 16 while giving some relaxations, the official said. As per the new guidelines, all government and private construction activities will be allowed and they can be carried out in compliance with all standard operating procedures (SOPs) and labour safety measures, he said.
Standalone shops including those selling groceries, essentials, vegetables and fruits can function till 5 pm, he said. “Shops located in established markets can operate, but with an odd-even system, under which they will be allowed to open on alternate days. Collectors and superintendents of police can decide modalities after consulting local traders’ associations," the official said.
All shops and establishments shall remain shut after 5 pm on working days, he said. On Sundays, only petrol pumps, hospitals, medical establishments, medicine shops, PDS shops will be allowed to function. Home delivery of essential commodities will be permitted, he said.
Vegetable markets, wedding venues, cinema halls, malls, clubs, swimming pools, supermarkets, showrooms, gyms, religious places, coaching classes, schools, colleges, parks, liquor stores and roadside establishments will remain shut, the official said. Tourist spots will remain shut and public gatherings will be prohibited, he said, adding that exams maybe permitted as per the state government orders and home delivery of liquor will be allowed for online orders.
These relaxations will be applicable for Raipur, Durg and Rajnandgaon districts, while other districts can choose to impose certain relaxations based on their local situations, he said. “However, for state-wide uniformity, it is strongly advised that no district grants more relaxations than those mentioned above," he added.
The lockdown has been extended till May 31 in Raipur and till May 24 in Bilaspur district. As of Friday, Chhattisgarh’s COVID-19 caseload stood at 8,99,925, including 11,461 casualties, leaving the state with 1,15,964 active cases.