With the Union Home Ministry initiating more relaxations in the nationwide lockdown from June 8, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday urged people to exercise utmost caution as the society seeks to rebound from the disruption caused by the virus.
In a Facebook post titled "Unlock-1 : Handle With Care", he said this rebound should be handled with care and responsibly by all stakeholders.
"Tomorrow marks a new beginning towards recovering the lost space and to rebound from long confinement with severely pruned list of prohibited activities and that too only in confinement zones," he said on the last day of phase four of the lockdown.
Relaxations during lockdown 4 resulted in the virus infection scaling new peak almost everyday since May 18. Coronavirus positive cases hit a single-day spike of about 8,000 on the day Unlock-1 was announced on May 30, he pointed out.
"This provides guidance for actions as the nation is set on the course of phased exit from confinement. It only suggests that Unlock-1 shall be handled with care so that the intended rebound is not adversely hit," he opined.
The zone of confinement stands substantially reduced from 130 crore people living in about seven lakh villages and over 4,500 towns, cities and mega cities under lockdown 1 to only confinement areas in its latest version, he said.
It is understood that containment zones are about 6,000 across the country and mostly in the 13 cities, including six capitals that account for 70 per cent of total infections.
"Given the population of a few hundred to a few thousand in each containment zone, the number of people subjected to restrictions during the month-long lockdown beginning tomorrow would be very small. It is a substantial expansion in the space now available for the others to let their lives express themselves," he said.
States have so far played a commendable role in fighting the virus in harmony with the Centre, Naidu said. "They now have even a bigger role in handling Unlock-1 with enhanced freedom of decision making. Success be ours," the ice-president hoped.