The Jharkhand government on Tuesday extended the lockdown-like restrictions till June 10 with some easing, an official said. This is the fourth time that the curbs, first imposed on April 22 for a week, were extended. The ongoing measures to contain coronavirus surge were scheduled to end on June 3.
"The Health Safety Week now stands extended till June 10. Some relaxations have been given, including the opening of all shops in 15 districts from 6 am to 2 pm with certain conditions," the official said.
The decision was made at a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority chaired by Chief Minister Hemant Soren.
As per the order, the districts have been divided into two categories and in 15 of the 24 districts witnessing lesser cases, all shops will be open.
In the remaining nine districts, including state capital Ranchi, which are witnessing a high number of deaths, shops other than clothes, jewellery and shoes have been allowed, the official added.
Apart from Ranchi, these districts are - Bokaro, Dhanbad, Jamshedpur, Deoghar, Hazaribag, Garhwa, Gumla and Ramgarh. All malls and multi-brand shops will remain closed.
Norms for travelling have also been relaxed and e-passes would not be required for movement within the district, the order said.
However, e-pass will be needed for inter-district and inter-state movements. Chief minister Soren had earlier sought suggestions from stakeholders including people for gradually unlocking the restrictions.
The state secretariat will function with 33 per cent staff strength till 2 pm, the official said. The restrictions include mandatory 7-day home or institutional quarantine for people visiting Jharkhand barring those who will leave the state within 72 hours.
The state has already prohibited all indoor and outdoor congregations of more than five persons. All education centres and coaching institutions were
closed and all examinations postponed.
Cinema halls, multiplexes, stadiums, gymnasiums, swimming pools and parks, among others, had also been closed in the state.
Agriculture, industries and mining operations, besides emergency services, are allowed to function.
The government is making all efforts to save both human lives and their livelihood, the chief minister said.
The death toll rose to 4,991, while the coronavirus tally stood at 3,37,774. Jharkhand now has 8,907 active cases, while 3,23,876 patients have recovered from the disease. Altogether, 84,84,836 samples have been tested for COVID-19 in Jharkhand, including 50,338 since Monday, it
The state has sought the Centre's intervention, including free vaccines, to tide over the crisis and has also ordered a death audit in five districts witnessing high fatalities.
Chief Minister Soren in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the mandate for states to procure medicines as against cooperative federalism.
"This is probably for the first instance in the history of independent India that the states have been mandated to procure vaccines on their own," he said. Since the advent of the second wave of COVID-19, the death rate in the state increased from 0.9 per cent to 1.46 per cent, as several districts reported high number of fatalities.