#IndiaBeginsUnlock: States begin to relax curbs; what’s allowed, what’s not

5 June, 2021 | Ojasvi Chauhan

States, UTs begin unlocking National

The second wave of the coronavirus crisis has begun its decline, compared to the 4 lakh cases that were being reported every day at the zenith of the second wave that was in late April. From the pa...

Several states including Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have begun the process of Covid Unlock, i.e., the re-opening of institutions and services (restaurants, malls, gyms etc.) that were temporarily closed because of coronavirus.

India has, as of June 5th, administered 24 crore doses in total. This includes both first and second doses, the fully vaccinated populace is much lower. Vaccine shortages are being reported throughout the country, despite exports of Russia’s Sputnik IV vaccine and the Indian vaccine manufacturers Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute stretching themselves to the breaking point to meet the vaccine demand.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, is continuing the Covid Unlock process in Delhi by removing more restrictions. The previous Unlock steps allowed Metro trains to start operating at 50% passenger capacity and the industrial sector of Delhi was also restarted, with manufactories being re-opened and construction work resumed.

Although, the Maharashtra government had earlier stated its refusal to follow up with an Unlock plan, an announcement was made yesterday night about an Unlock plan stretching five steps, to be launched from June 7 onwards.

Upon seeing that several states have begun revoking restrictions, Dr Balram Bharagava, the Director General of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), released three requirements on June 1 that any state considering or beginning an Unlock process would have to meet. During a meeting of the Ministry of Health, Dr Bhargava revealed these requirements: the concerned state needs to maintain a positivity rate of less than 5$ for a week, 70% of the vulnerable population should have been vaccinated with at least one dose and the state’s communities should have established their own protocols to deal with coronavirus.