Hyderabad, With pressure mounting from different quarters, the Telangana government on Tuesday decided to impose state-wide lockdown from May 12 (Wednesday) for 10 days to contain the spread of Covid-19.
There would be relaxation for all the activities from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily.
The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao at Pragati Bhavan, his official residence.
The four-hour relaxation will be for general activities and needs of the people. Only for these four hours will shops open and they would close for the rest of 20 hours as the lockdown would be imposed strictly, said the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
A brief announcement was made within minutes after the cabinet meet began at 2 p.m. as the Telangana High Court was to hear the matter.
The high court, during the hearing earlier in the day, had voiced its unhappiness over the lack of effective measures to check Covid spread. During the hearing earlier in the day, it had pulled up authorities for failing to strictly enforce night curfew.
The state government had ruled out imposing a partial or total lockdown, saying the measure would be of not much help in containing the surge. It had also claimed that the situation in the state is totally under control and in fact, a downward trend started in new Covid cases.
Last week, the Chief Minister had stated such a move would bring the life to a standstill and would lead to total collapse of the economy.
According to a detailed statement issued in the evening about the lockdown, public transport services like the RTC and Metro train will be available from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Public Distribution System (ration shops) will be opened only during these four hours.
The Cabinet also decided to close down cinema halls, swimming pools, clubs, gyms, amusement parks, and sports stadia.
It instructed the Director General of Police to strictly implement the lockdown following the Covid guidelines strictly. It was also decided to set up check posts on the borders of Telangana.
The Cabinet also decided to continue purchasing of the paddy, keeping in view welfare of farmers.
Works related to agriculture produce, allied sectors, running of rice mills, transport of paddy and rice, supplying paddy to the FCI, fertiliser and seeds shops, seed manufacturing companies, and other agri-based sectors will be exempted from the lockdown.
Pharmaceutical companies, companies manufacturing medical equipment, medical distributors, medical shops, all types of medical and health services, government and private hospitals and their staff have also been exempted.
Transportation on national highways will be allowed. Petrol and diesel pumps would be open on the national highways.
Government offices would work with 33 per cent of the staff. Like during the lockdown last time, banks and ATMs would also work.
Only persons are allowed.