New Delhi/Kolkata, May 15 (PTI) West Bengal joined the states that have imposed a complete lockdown to contain the COVID pandemic, while many like Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh extended the restrictions as the national tally of active cases saw a marginal decline.
The government on Saturday said that the overall COVID-19 situation in the country is stabilising, though it is a mixed picture across the states in terms of the trend in daily new cases and deaths.
Chairing a high-level meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of augmenting healthcare resources in rural areas and asserted that localised containment strategies are the need of the hour, especially in states with a high positivity rate in districts.
He also said that states should be encouraged to report their COVID-19 numbers transparently 'without any pressure of high numbers showing adversely on their efforts', remarks that come amid reports claiming that there has been under-reporting in the case and fatality tallies.
Modi also directed that a distribution plan for ensuring oxygen supply in rural areas should be worked out, including through provision of oxygen concentrators, a statement from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.
A number of states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Nagaland and the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry are under lockdown, while curfew and other strict restrictions are in place elsewhere.
'Additional restriction measures to cut down the mobility of people and limiting human contact through assembly and congregations is essential to cut the transmission chain of the virus and to contain the pandemic,' West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said on Saturday, announcing the lockdown from 6 AM on May 16 till 6 PM on May 30.
The Chhattisgarh government has asked authorities in all the 28 districts to extend the COVID-19 lockdown till May 31 even as it granted more relaxations in economic and other activities, an official said.
The lockdown, currently in force in all districts of the state, was set to end in most regions at May 15 midnight.
Bihar too has extended the lockdown, which was to end on May 15, till May 25, while Maharashtra has already announced the continuation of lockdown-like restrictions till June.
The Uttar Pradesh government decided on Saturday to extend the partial coronavirus curfew till May 24 morning, while the Assam government announced further restrictions in urban and adjacent areas, banning the movement of people and vehicles from 12 noon to 5 AM to contain the surge in COVID-19 positive cases.
The Jammu and Kashmir administration extended till May 24 the curfew imposed across the union territory. The curfew was scheduled to end on May 17.
Top health officials said 10 states account for 85 percent of the total coronavirus cases in the country. While 11 states have over one lakh active COVID-19 cases, 17 have less than 50,000 cases while eight have active cases between 50,000 and one lakh.
The health ministry said Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, which are recording a high number of novel coronavirus cases, are also reporting a decline in active cases.
Twenty-four states have a COVID-19 positivity rate of more than 15 percent while Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Daman and Diu, Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have reported a major drop in case positivity, it said.
The national capital, which is under lockdown, recorded 6,430 new COVID-19 cases and 337 fatalities on Saturday while the positivity rate dipped to 11.32 percent. This is the second consecutive day when Delhi has recorded less than 10,000 cases.
The country recorded 3,26,098 new COVID-19 cases that took the tally to 2,43,72,907, while 3,890 new fatalities pushed the death toll to 2,66,207, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday.
The ministry had reported 3,43,144 new cases and 4,000 fresh deaths on Friday (May 14), 3,62,727 cases and 4,120 deaths on Thursday (13) and 3,48,421 cases and 4,205 fresh fatalities on Wednesday (May 12).
The highest single-day rise in cases was 4,14,188 on May 7 and in deaths on May 12 at 4,205.
The active cases have reduced to 36,73,802 and comprise 15.07 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 83.83 percent, it stated.
On Friday, the active cases had reduced to 37,04,893.
'It is evident that we can see a certain amount of stabilisation of the second wave of the pandemic,' NITI Aayog member V K Paul said.
“Some states have shown a clear pattern, in some states there are concerns and in some others, there is a trend towards an increase. It is a mixed picture. But overall, the situation is stabilising and we hope and we will work towards ensuring further stabilisation and rapid decline of this pandemic,' Paul said.
Here is a look at coronavirus-induced restrictions imposed by states and union territories.
*Delhi is under lockdown from April 19 till May 17.
*Uttar Pradesh had extended the partial coronavirus curfew till 7 AM on May 24.
*Haryana, which was under a seven-day long lockdown from May 3, had extended it till May 17.
*Bihar on May 4 imposed a lockdown till May 15 which has now been extended till May 25.
*Odisha is under a 14-day lockdown from May 5 till May 19.
*Rajasthan has imposed a strict lockdown in the state from May 10 to 24.
*Jharkhand had extended lockdown-like restrictions with stricter provisions till May 27.
*Chhattisgarh government has asked authorities in all the 28 districts to extend the COVID-19 lockdown till May 31.
*Punjab has imposed extensive curbs, in addition to measures like a weekend lockdown and night curfew till May 15.
*Chandigarh administration has extended night and weekend curfew restrictions till May 18.
*Madhya Pradesh has imposed 'Janta curfew' till May 17 with only essential services allowed, while districts are authorised to extend it.
*Gujarat on May 11 extended the night curfew and other day-time restrictions in 36 cities till May 18.
*Maharashtra has extended the lockdown-like restrictions till June 1.
*Goa government has imposed a curfew from May 9 to May 24.
* West Bengal government announced a complete lockdown from May 16 till May 30.
*Assam on May 12 ordered shutting down of all offices, religious places and weekly markets for 15 days in urban and semi-urban areas of the state, besides banning the movement of people from 2 PM to 5 AM.
*Nagaland has imposed a week-long total lockdown from May 14 till May 21.
*Mizoram has extended the lockdown imposed in Aizawl and other district headquarters from May 10 till May 24.
* Arunachal Pradesh has imposed night curfew -- from 6.30 PM to 5 AM-- for the entire month starting Saturday.
*Manipur government has imposed curfew in seven districts from May 8 till May 17.
* Meghalaya extended lockdown in the worst-affected East Khasi Hills district till May 24.
* Sikkim government decided to clamp a complete lockdown across the tiny Himalayan state from May 17 to May 24.
*Jammu and Kashmir administration has extended curfew till May 24.
*Uttarakhand has imposed a strict COVID curfew from May 11 to May 18.
*Himachal Pradesh has extended the coronavirus-induced curfew in the state till May 26.
*Kerala has extended the total lockdown being enforced in the state from May 8 to May 23.
*Tamil Nadu is under lockdown from May 10 to May 24.
*Puducherry has extended lockdown from May 10 to May 24.
*Karnataka is under complete lockdown till May 24.
*Telangana has imposed a 10-day lockdown from May 12.
* Andhra Pradesh has imposed curfew from 12 noon to 6 AM till May 18. PTI TEAM SCH TKP PR ASG PLB NAV DG RT RT