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Although the fourth phase of lockdown in India is scheduled to end on May 31, Solan and Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh have announced an extension. To curb the spread of the virus, these districts will continue to observe stay-at-home orders. By Upasana Singh
With increasing numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, India continues to fight the battle against the virus. While some states such as Goa and Manipur have reported no new cases, others such as Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Delhi continue to struggle with a surge in infected patients. Given the conditions in most parts of the country, two districts in Himachal Pradesh have decided to extend the lockdown until June 30.
The Himachal Pradesh government made provisions for all districts to extend the lockdown for another five weeks if needed. While Solan and Hamirpur made the decision to maintain strict measures so as to not risk any COVID-19 transmissions, the final call for other regions belongs to the district administration.
Till now, the northern state in the Himalayas has recorded 247 cases of Coronavirus, out of which 63 have recovered, four have migrated out of the state, and five patients have lost their lives. While Solan has around 21 cases so far, Hamirpur has reported a total of 78 positive cases out of which 71 are active. According to official reports, essential services like grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open during the extended period of lockdown in the two districts. There would also be a few hours of curfew relaxation every day.
Meanwhile, domestic air travel in India has begun and the Indian Railways have started operating 200 trains to help those who have been stranded in different parts of the country. Though the future remains uncertain, India is returning back to normalcy. The decision made by the districts of Himachal Pradesh to remain under lockdown seems to be inspired by the saying—prevention is better than cure. It is promising to see the hill state taking all necessary precautions.
Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected Indian state, with over 50,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus.