Kohima, June 9: The Nagaland government on Wednesday announced an extension of the ongoing Covid-related lockdown till June 18 with easing of some restrictions.
The decision was taken by the state's High Powered Committee on COVID-19 at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio two days before the current lockdown was to end, state minister Neiba Kronu said. This will be the third extension of the lockdown in the state. Earlier, a seven-day lockdown was imposed in the northeastern state from May 14 to contain the spread of coronavirus. Subsequently, it was extended till May 31 and then up to June 11.
"Views of all the District Task Force (DTF) were taken through video conferencing. It has been a consensus to continue lockdown with more relaxation," Kronu, who is also the HPC spokesperson, said. The HPC has recommended the COVID-19 war room to increase the duration of shopping timings for essential commodities, which is currently from 6 am to 12 noon throughout the state, he said.
The HPC also decided that trains will not stop at Dimapur, the only railway station in the state. While construction activities had resumed in the state, it was decided that labourers from outside Nagaland would not be allowed if they do not furnish a negative COVID-19 test result. Previously all places of worship and church services had been restricted, but the HPC meeting on Wednesday permitted a maximum of 20 members to attend prayer service in churches.
The government also allowed the opening of stationery shops, he said. However, classes will continue in the online mode. HPC co-spokesperson and advisor Mmhonlumo Kikon said while the Nagaland chief secretary would issue an overall lockdown guideline for the entire state but the respective DTF of the districts would issue necessary orders for relaxation as per the situation in the districts.
Nagalands COVID-19 caseload during the start of the total lockdown on May 14 was 17,531, which mounted to 21,680 on May 31, when the extended lockdown was to end. The number of COVID-19 deaths had also doubled from 190 on May 14 to 376 on May 31, necessitating an extension of the lockdown with total restrictions till June 11. However, in the past 8 days, there has been a decrease in daily case count. The COVID-19 tally in the state on Tuesday was 23,051, and with the demise of three coronavirus patients, the death toll was 432.
The recovery rate in Nagaland has also improved from 72.59 per cent on May 31 to 75.03 per cent till Tuesday.