Bihar extends lockdown till May 25 to contain Covid-19 spread
Patna, May 13: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday announced the extension of the lockdown in the state till May 25. Kumar made the announcement after chairing a high- level meeting, convened to take a decision on the lockdown, which was in place from May 5 to 15.
Kumar in a Tweet in Hindi said that the decision to extend the lockdown was taken after reviewing the COVID-19 situation in the state. "We have decided to extend the lockdown in the state for 10 more days, i.e. it will now continue May 25," he said.
The state has been rattled by explosive growth in its COVID-19 incidence since the beginning of April. During the period, its total caseload has risen by nearly three times and exceeded six lakh.
The death toll, which on Wednesday crossed 3,500, has also seen a more than three-fold jump during the period. Those succumbing to COVID-19 include many sitting and former legislators, top bureaucrats and doctors.
Nonetheless, the situation has looked up in the past few days, causing the recovery rate -- which had dipped to as low as 77 per cent at the beginning of this month -- to reach 83.43 per cent on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the state registered 9,863 fresh cases, after having witnessed daily jumps in its tally by a five- digit figure for more than a fortnight.
Banking, ATMs and insurance services have been kept out of the purview of the lockdown. Industrial and construction work, besides farm activities, e-commerce and courier services have also been exempted.
Operations of print and electronic media have also been allowed during the period.
Petrol pumps, LPG and outlets connected with retail services of petroleum products will also continue to operate.
Shops dealing in grocery and food items will remain open from 7 am to 11 am daily during the lockdown, the chief secretary said.
Schools, colleges and private coaching centres will remain completely shut during the lockdown, Sharan said, adding that no examination will be held during the period.
Religious places, cinema halls, parks, gyms will also remain closed.
Though the movement of vehicles has been prohibited, public transport for passengers heading to railway stations, airports, and bus terminuses will be allowed with 50 per cent sitting capacity, the chief secretary said.
Restaurants and hotels will remain closed but home delivery has been allowed, he said.
Weddings are allowed with only 50 guests but the use of DJs and taking out ''barat'' processions are prohibited.
Bihar had imposed a lockdown on May 4 after the Patna High Court slammed the state government over its handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
For the performance of the last rites and ''shradh'', not more than 20 people will be allowed.
The CS informed that all the districts have been ordered to organise community kitchens to feed the needy.
He said the ration card holders will be given allotted foodgrains from PDS shops free in the month of May, the cost of which will be borne by the state government.
He said those violating the orders will be punished according to law.Has the lockdown in Bihar been extended?
Yes, until May 25
What will remain open during the lockdown?
All shops selling vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat to remain open. Restaurants and dhabas can continue with home delivery.
What will remain closed during the lockdown?
All religious places will remain closed.- Cinema halls, malls, clubs, gyms and parks will be closed.
Will schools and colleges remain open?
Schools, colleges and other educational institutes will remain closed. No examination will be held by state-run schools and universities till May 15.