Relaxation hours extended till 5pm; lockdown for ten more days

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Hyderabad: The Telangana government on Tuesday evening announced that lockdown will be extended for ten more days, starting June 10.

However, the relaxation hours have been extended until 5 pm; with an additional hour for the people to return home. Thus, the lockdown will be enforced for twelve hours, i.e. between 6 pm to 6 am.

A decision to this effect was taken by the state cabinet which met at 3 pm on Tuesday. Detailed guidelines will be issued soon.

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Meanwhile, the state cabinet has decide to continue the existing lockdown restrictions from 6 am- 1 pm in Sattupalli, Madhira, Nalgonda, Nagarjuna Sagar, Deverakonda, Munugodu and Miryalaguda assembly constituencies, where COVID-19 has not come into control yet.

Under the chairmanship of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the state cabinet held a long meeting and discussed varied issues including the extension of lockdown, vaccination drive, state’s financial situation, agriculture-related activities, and implementation of pay revision commission (PRC) recommendations, among others.

Overall, 24 items have been discussed by the state cabinet on Tuesday, sources said.

Earlier, the state government had imposed a lockdown from May 12, which was extended a few times. For the first two weeks or so, the public was given a relaxation time from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., which led to crowding at many places and several traffic jams as well. However, 10 days ago, while extending the lockdown, the administration also increased the relaxation time to 1 p.m.

With that, businesses in the state have been operating daily from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. An additional hour has also been given to the public to return home on time, meaning that people can return home by 2 p.m. During the last cabinet meeting, Hyderabad Lok Sabha member of Parliament and All India Majilis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) had asked chief minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) to not extend the lockdown.

Prior to May 12, when the lockdown was first imposed, the state only had a night curfew, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. However, due to rising COVID-19 cases in Telangana, the state government was forced to go for a lockdown. Initially, was also reportedly against the idea of a night curfew or lockdown to be imposed in the state. But in view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases, state chief secretary Somesh Kumar held discussions to deal with it.

Due to the lockdown, the state finances have also been badly hit and the government is keen to revive the economy also. Moreover, ever since the state and city police decided to crackdown against lockdown violators, several instances of police brutality that have surfaced, particularly in Hyderabad. In two separate cases, two youngsters were badly injured after being hit by policemen during the lockdown.