India's lockdown to focus on 13 cities

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India has zeroed it on these 13 cities as they have 70 percent of all the positive COVID-19 cases in the country, the government’s Cabinet Secretariat said in a press release after the meeting. — Courtesy photo

NEW DELHI — Preparing to end India’s two-month-long lockdown in its current form, the government’s senior-most bureaucrat, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, on Thursday held a meeting with Municipal Commissioners of 13 cities worst-affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

India has zeroed it on these 13 cities as they have 70 percent of all the positive COVID-19 cases in the country, the government’s Cabinet Secretariat said in a press release after the meeting.

When the current lockdown ends on May 31, these 13 cities are to be the focus of India’s coronavirus containment strategy from the next day. This means restrictions will continue in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Thane, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Indore, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Chengalpattu and Thiruvallur.

Today’s meeting was held to review the management of COVID-19 cases in these cities and to decide the exact form of new restrictions from next month. Details of new restrictions are to be finalized in two days and announced during the weekend by the time the current lockdown ends.

District Magistrates in charge of all the 13 cities attended the meeting with the Cabinet Secretary. Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories also attended the meeting.

The meeting took place on a day when India set a new record of spike in COVID-19 cases with 6,566 people testing positive in a single day. The previous 24 hours also reported 194 deaths, bringing the total so far to 4,531, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare here.

These updated figures take India’s total case count since the onset of the pandemic to 158,333. Of these, 67,692 people have recovered. — WAM


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