The government has extended the lockdown until June 30 in the containment areas.
As per a release by the government, the guidelines will come into effect from June 1, 2020 and will be effective till June 30, 2020. The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus.
The key highlight in the fresh guidelines is that religious places, hotels, restaurants, hospitality services and malls will be allowed to reopen from June 8.
Areas outside containment zones will be opened up in a phased manner.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Schools, colleges and educational institutes will be opened after consultations with states and union territories. Based on the feedback, decision will be taken in the month of July 2020.
Dates for restarting the following will be decided after assessing the situation:
>>International air travel except as permitted by MHA.
>>Cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
>>Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other large congregations.
>>Health ministry will issue Standard Operating Procedures for Phase 1 activities.
The nationwide lockdown was first imposed from March 25 with an aim to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that has claimed 4,971 lives and infected more than 1.73 lakh people in the country.
The lockdown was then extended thrice up to May 31 with several restrictions eased in non-containment zones. India's economy has been severely hit by the lockdown with thousands of people losing their means of livelihood across the country.
The fifth phase of lockdown will start on June 1.
Here's the official document of the government's order:
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.