HYDERABAD: Putting an end to more than five weeks of restricted movements and stringent curbs on normal activities, the state Cabinet on Saturday decided to lift the lockdown entirely from Sunday.
The Cabinet also directed the authorities to reopen all categories of educational institutions from July 1 with full preparedness. Students are allowed to attend classes physically once the institutions resume their activities.
The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, which met here on Saturday at Pragathi Bhavan, examined the reports submitted by the medical and health department officials which stated that number of new Coronavirus positive cases had drastically come down — it was 1,362 on Saturday — and the situation was now under control.
Hence the Cabinet has arrived at the decision to lift the lockdown. The ongoing lockdown from 6 pm to 6 am ended on Saturday.
The Cabinet has instructed officials from all the departments to lift all restrictions imposed during the lockdown since mid-April. It also observed that the Covid cases were coming under control in the neighbouring states also. Based on the reports submitted by the officials, the Cabinet came to the conclusion that compared to other states, Coronavirus cases had come under control faster in Telangana.
With educational institutions getting reopened from July 1, the Cabinet directed the education department to prepare instructions and guidelines on compulsory attendance of students, online classes and other related issues and release the same at the earliest.
The Cabinet sought support and cooperation from people for its decision, which was taken in order to safeguard livelihoods and for the general benefit of public life. However, the Cabinet made it clear that lifting of lockdown should not lead to negligent behaviour, people should wear masks, maintain physical distance and use sanitisers and other self-regulatory methods to curtail the spread of the virus.
The government after announcing complete lifting of the lockdown warned that anyone found violating the face mask rule will be penalised Rs 1,000. The government, in its orders issued on Saturday evening, also made it clear that individuals must maintain social distancing.
It said that wearing of a face mask will be compulsory in public places, in work places, and in all means of transport and any deviation will attract prosecution.
The orders, signed by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, said that while shops, offices, and establishments can open on Sunday, they will have to ensure Covid-19 safety norms of physical distancing and sanitisation are followed. The establishments will be held responsible if they fail to implement these norms and will attract action under Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant Acts.