The countrywide lockdown in containment zones has been extended till June 30, while hospitality services, hotels and shopping malls will be allowed to open from June 8, the Union home ministry said on Saturday.
Areas outside containment zones will be opened up in a phased manner.
Termed 'Unlock 1', the Centre on Saturday issued fresh guidelines relaxing the nationwide lockdown, the fourth phase of which ends on May 31.Unlock 1, will have an economic focus and only essential activities allowed..
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 4,971 and the number of cases climbed to 1,73,763 in the country registering a record single-day spike of 265 deaths and 7,964 cases till Saturday 8 am, according to the Union health ministry.
India is the ninth worst-hit nation by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry of home affairs (MHA) has issued national directives for COVID-19 management, including compulsory use of face masks and social distancing norms. Face masks and social distancing norms mandatory.
Under the new directives, the Union home ministry said re-opening of prohibited activities in areas outside containment zones will be done in a phased manner from June 1.It said the lockdown,the fourth phase of which ends on Sunday, will remain in force in containment zones till June 30. Religious places of worship for public, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and other hospitality services will be opened from June 8, the guidelines stated.
The decision to restart international air travel, metro trains, cinema halls, gyms, political gatherings will be done after assessing the situation, it said.
Schools, colleges, educational, training, coaching institutions will be opened after consultations with states and Union Territories, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guildelines said.
It added that states and UTs can hold consultations with parents and other stakeholders on reopening of academic institutions from July.
The fresh guidelines also revised the night curfew timing stating movement of individuals will now be prohibited between 9 pm and 5 am across the country.
However, if a State/ UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed..
The number of active COVID-19 cases in the country stood to 86,422 while 82,369 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, it said. In the last 24 hours, 11,264 patients have recovered.
"Thus, around 47.40 per cent patients have recovered so far," a senior health ministry official said.
In an open letter marking one year into his second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged people to follow lockdown rules to stop the spread of the pandemic as there was a “long battle” ahead.
“Our country (is) besieged with problems amidst a vast population and limited resources,” Modi said, adding that labourers and migrant workers had “undergone tremendous suffering” due to restrictions.
While fatality rates in India have been comparatively low, experts warned that the pandemic’s peak has not been reached as new infections are increasing.
Officials are nervous about the pandemic spreading through villages as millions of jobless migrant workers return home from cities.Rights activists and the opposition have criticised Modi’s handling of the pandemic, accusing him of announcing an abrupt lockdown that left the poor in the lurch and forced thousands to walk or jostle for space on buses and special trains to reach home while fearing infection.
More than 100 migrant workers have died either in accidents or due to starvation as they tried to return to their villages, the home ministry official said.
India needs to implement an intelligent lockdown exit strategy to prevent irreversible growth collapse, SBI said in a research report on Saturday.India's economic growth slipped to an 11-year low of 4.2 per cent in 2019-20 and to 3.1 per cent in January-March, the lowest in the last 40 quarters.
The nation-wide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus with effect from March 25 has hit economic activities. The fourth phase of the lockdown is set to expire on Sunday.
"We now believe that we should implement an intelligent lockdown exit strategy as the discussion has moved from the debate between lives and livelihood to also between lives and lives as an elongated lockdown will only prolong irreversible growth collapse," SBI's research report 'Ecowrap' said
India needs to implement an intelligent lockdown exit strategy to prevent irreversible growth collapse, SBI said in a research report on Saturday.
India's economic growth slipped to an 11-year low of 4.2 per cent in 2019-20 and to 3.1 per cent in January-March, the lowest in the last 40 quarters.
The nation-wide lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus with effect from March 25 has hit economic activities.
"We now believe that we should implement an intelligent lockdown exit strategy as the discussion has moved from the debate between lives and livelihood to also between lives and lives as an elongated lockdown will only prolong irreversible growth collapse," SBI's research report 'Ecowrap' said.
Going by past experience, recovery from recession often tends to be slow and takes five to ten years to reach the former peak levels of economic activity, it said.