Telangana lifts COVID-19 lockdown completely; government schools to reopen on July 1

Published : June 20, 2021 10:18 IST

Residents of a locality in Hyderabad wait to receive COVID-19 vaccine during a special vaccination drive, on June 18. Photo: RAMAKRISHNA G.

Telangana announced a complete lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown norms on June 19. The decision was taken by the State Cabinet in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao. A government order said the Cabinet took the decision after consulting personnel in the Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare, and considering the fall in the number of infections. The order said, “All educational institutions and coaching institutions are permitted to reopen. Government schools and colleges can reopen from 1.7.2021.” The order also said “wearing of face mask shall be compulsory in public places, in work places and in means of transport”.

The government first imposed a curfew in the State on April 20 and went into a full lockdown on May 12. On June 18, Telangana reported 1,417 new COVID-19 cases and 12 fatalities. The cumulative COVID-19 tally of the State stands at 6,10,834, with 3,546 fatalities. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation accounted for most number of cases, at 149, followed by Rangareddy (104) and Khammam (93) districts. On June 8, the Telangana government announced an extension of the lockdown by 10 days but with a larger relaxation window, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and an additional grace hour for people who are outside to return to their homes.

The government has during the last two months cracked the whip to reign in those not following the COVID-19 protocol, including the mandatory mask rule. Between April 1 and June 7, the State recorded 8,79,113 cases of violations under Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code. Of these, violation of the mask rule accounted for 4,56,573 cases. Data from the Department of Health, Medical and Family Welfare show that besides not following the mask rule, venturing out during the night curfew and gathering in public places in contravention of mandated rules were the other most violated norms.

The majority of the 4,56,573 mask mandate violations had been booked before the State went into the second lockdown on May 12. Over 1,30,000 cases were booked for not wearing or improper wearing of face masks in public places between May 12 and June 7. Besides this, 343,235 cases were booked for venturing out during the night curfew hours and for violating lockdown norms (remaining on the roads during lockdown hours).