With the Lockdown 4.0 due to come to an end in three days time, a meeting convened today by the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba with officials of 13 COVID-19 worst-hit cities in the country set off rumours of an impending Lockdown 5.0.
It was for the first time ever that the country’s top bureaucrat met municipal commissioners of select cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and other B-town cities which have been bearing the brunt of the coronavirus disease.
A Home Ministry official said that the municipal commissioners and district magistrates or collectors of 13 COVID-19 worst hit cities in the country were from Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi/New Delhi, Ahmadabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata/Howrah, Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Jaipur, Jodhpur, Chengalpattu (Tamil Nadu) and Thiruvallur (Tamil Nadu) attended the meeting.
“Centre has stressed that containment zones are to be geographically defined based on factors like mapping of cases and contacts and their geographical dispersion. This would enable in demarcating a well defined perimeter and enforcing the strict protocol of lockdown,” the government said in a press note.
“Municipal corporations can decide if residential colonies, mohallas, municipal wards or police-station areas, municipal zones, towns can be designated as containment zones, as required,” it said.
The cities were advised that the area should be appropriately defined by the district administration and local urban body with technical inputs from local level.
The meeting focused on the issue of ‘Public Health Response’ to COVID-19, the deadly virus which has infected 1,58,333 people across the country so far and claimed 4,531 lives so far.
As the Centre is working on a strategy for life post May 31, it is learnt that the government intends to focus on the containment strategy and layout some target areas which the government intends to focus.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on March 24 announced nationwide lockdown for 21 days in a bid to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The lockdown was first extended till May 3 and again till May 17 and then a third time till May 31. There are reports that PM Modi will announce the lockdown 5.0 in his monthly Mann ki Baat programme scheduled for May 31, the last Sunday of the month, the traditional calendar for his programme.
-India Legal Bureau