COVID-19: Second wave forced states into full lockdown; why is Telangana in denial?

While many states imposed total lockdown, several are still preferring restrictions like night curfews and weekend lockdowns.

Hyderabad: India’s battle against COVID-19 is becoming tougher by the day, with the country registering a new record number of cases each passing day.  India recorded 4.01 lakh cases and 4,187 deaths on Saturday, taking the active caseload to 37,23,446.

Several states are yet again pushed into full lockdown, the most recent one being Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday announced clamping a two-week “total lockdown” across the state to curb the spread of the pandemic, starting May 10. The lockdown will be in place till May 24.

Karnataka too will be in lockdown during the same period, the state government said on Friday.

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Here is the list of states that are already under lockdown or have proposed a lockdown:

Maharashtra: As the second wave hit India, the most affected state has been Mumbai, with a rapid increase in cases the state has been on lockdown like restrictions and movements since April 5. The total cases are reported to be over 49.96 lakh with almost over 74,000 fatalities.

Kerala: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has announced a lockdown from  May 8 to May 16 to fight the surge in COVID-19 cases. “The entire state of Kerala will be under lockdown from 6 am on 8 May to 16 May. This is in the background of a strong second wave of COVID-19,” Vijayan said in a tweet.

Karnataka: The government announced a full lockdown in the state from May 10 to May 24. “There will be no movement of people allowed in this period. There will be a window of four hours between 6 am and 10 am for people to buy essential items. There will be no industrial activity but in-situ construction is allowed,” B S Yediyurappa, the chief minister said.

Odisha: As cases keep on rising, a 14 day lockdown was announced on the entire state from May 5 to May 19.

Chhattisgarh: Chhattisgarh has allowed district collectors to extend lockdown, which was to end on May 5, till May 15.

Delhi: The national capital extended the lockdown until May 10, as the case surge did not see any improvement. Citing the stubbornly high positivity rate in Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal has extended the lockdown three times already and may have to extend more if the situation doesn’t change.

Uttar Pradesh: The state government on Wednesday has initiated lockdown after direct orders from the Supreme court. The state decided to extend the COVID 19 restrictions till May 10.

Gujarat: Gujarat has currently put up only night curfew in 29 cities and other COVID 19 restrictions, but not a total lockdown even after having cases above 1,45,000.

Bihar: The state government imposed a statewide lockdown till May 15 which started on May 4. Before that, they had normal COVID restrictions. The announcement, by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, came within hours of the Patna High Court ordering the government to declare a lockdown, warning that otherwise, the court may step in. Bihar has recorded almost 1,13,480 cases with over 13,000 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Rajasthan: The state government announced a strict lockdown between May 10 till May 24, as Rajasthan reported 18,231 new COVID-19 cases and 164 fatalities on Friday, pushing the state’s infection tally to 7,20,799 and the death rate to 5,346.

Goa: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday announced that there will be a state-level curfew from May 9 to May 23. The announcement comes on the day the number of active Covid-19 cases in the state exceeded 30,000 for the first time and recorded 4195 new cases, its highest single day increase in active Covid-19 positive cases.

Nagaland: Nagaland has imposed partial lockdown with stricter COVID-19 restrictions from April 30 to May 14.

Mizoram: Mizoram is under an eight-day lockdown in Aizawl and other district headquarters towns from May 3.

Haryana: Haryana is under a seven-day long lockdown from May 3. The lockdown will remain in force in the state till 5 am on May 10.

While Punjab imposed extensive COVID-19 curbs, in addition to measures like a weekend lockdown and a night curfew which will be in force till May 15, states like Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, Uttarakhand and the like have strict restrictions and other curbs in place.

Andhra Pradesh: Telangana’s neighbor, Andhra Pradesh has also chosen to have a partial lockdown from 12 noon to 6 am from May 6 for two weeks. The state government on Friday also changed the working hours of all employees working in the government department, they will be now working from 8 am to 11.30 am as the curfew begins at noon. 

The curfew would be in force at least till May 18 as per the government’s orders. The state’s coronavirus tally shot up to over 12.45 lakh as there were 17,188 fresh cases that were added in the last 24 hours.

Telangana still in denial

Even as the Telangana state government has imposed a night curfew between 9 pm and 5 am since May 1 and has extended the curfew till 5 am on May 15, the authorities have time and again ruled out a complete lockdown in the state.

But demands for a lockdown are on the rise, especially doctors who are seeking to control the spread of the virus amid heavily burdened health infrastructure. Non-availability of hospital beds, shortage of oxygen is being reported but the health department has denied.

“Telangana is doing much better compared to other states in the country. There are ample beds, no shortage of medicines nor consumables in the state,” said chief secretary Somesh Kumar, who is currently monitoring the health situation in the state after removal of health minister Eatala Rajendar from the cabinet.

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said that a lockdown will bring life to a standstill and will completely collapse the financial system. “There is no use of imposing lockdown. 25 to 30 lakh workers from other states are working here. We have seen how their lives were adversely impacted by the lockdown during the first wave,” he said earlier this week.

Telangana has reported 5,186 new Covid infections and 38 fatalities till Saturday evening, taking the  number of active cases in Telangana to 68,462. Testing remains low.

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