Post-May 3, Govt will provide “considerable relaxations” to orange & green areas: MHA

NEW DELHI: Indicating a significant easing of curbs in ‘orange’ and ‘green’ areas post-May 3, with measures to increase economic activity and restore normal life, the Centre on Wednesday said the new guidelines, which will come into force from May 4, will provide “considerable relaxations” to many districts.
Details shall be communicated in the days to come, the home ministry said. The easing of curbs is likely to be most evident in districts that have no Covid-19 cases and have been free of the disease for more than 28 days.
‘Orange’ zones, where there have been no fresh infections for more than 14 days, will also benefit. ‘Red’ zones may see only some relaxations, and that too outside of hotspots.
The problem is that around 129 districts, outlined by health minister Harsh Vardhan, which are red zones, are also where much of the nation’s economic activity is centred. Here, the strategy of detection, testing and isolation is expected to continue vigoro usly.
Sources said cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Chennai, which are red zones and have a large number of hotspots, may be able to experience limited relief. The Centre is considering graded opening of marketplaces and more shops than has been allowed so far. But this is being weighed carefully as is the possibility of allowing more services beyond groceries and essential household items that are being made available by kirana stores.
So far, the government feels, the limited opening of shops and establishments has worked well and a further easing co uld be on the cards. The movement of labour, including domestic help, is not allowed except in green zones.
The home ministry also tweeted, “There have been tremendous gains and improvement in the situation due to lockdown till now. To ensure that these gains are not squ andered away, lockdown guidelines should be strictly observed till May 3.”

Sources said flights and trains are unlikely to resume immediately after May 3 though more industries could be allowed to resume operations and defence production and ordnance factories may restart.