The Andhra Pradesh government has further extended the COVID-19 curfew in the state till 30 June, but with a four-hour additional relaxation in timings. Accordingly, the curfew will be in force from 6 pm to 6 am daily from 21 June.
The COVID-19 curfew, first imposed on 5 May this year, has so far been extended in phases till 20 June.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced this at a high-level review meeting on COVID-19 in Amaravati on Friday.
What does the new lockdown order say?
Below are some of the key highlights of the new lockdown order passed by the Andhra Pradesh government on Friday.
As per a CMO release, all shops and business establishments will have to be shut by 5 pm daily.
In East Godavari district, which has still been reporting a higher number of coronavirus cases, the curfew will be in force from 2 pm to 6 am.
Government offices will function normally from 21 June and staff has been directed to attend work as per the revised schedule.
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has asked the authorities to ensure 100 percent attendance of employees.
According to a report in The News Minute, the state government has also announced various measures to tackle a possible ''third wave of COVID-19, including hiring more doctors, and setting up three paediatric care centres at a cost of Rs 180 crore each. These pediatric health centres will be constructed in Visakhapatnam, Guntur and Tirupati.
The state government, however, has not cancelled the Class 10 and 12 board exams and is yet to take a final call. On Thursday, state Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh said the government would take a decision about exams at an appropriate time.
What are the latest COVID-19 figures for Andhra Pradesh?
Andhra Pradesh reported 6,341 fresh cases of coronavirus, 8,486 recoveries and 57 deaths in 24 hours ending 9 am on Friday. A health department bulletin said the number of active cases in the state dropped to 67,629.
The total positives touched 18,39,243, recoveries 17,59,390 and deaths 12,224 so far, it said. East Godavari district continued to report the highest number of cases (1,247) in a day.
Chittoor added 919 and West Godavari 791 while the remaining 10 districts registered less than 500 new cases each.
Chittoor had the highest toll of 12 in 24 hours, Guntur eight, East Godavari six, Krishna, Prakasam and Srikakulam five each, Anantapuramu, SPS Nellore, Visakhapatnam and West Godavari three each, Kurnool and Vizianagaram two each.
How is Andhra Pradesh government planning to enforce curfew?
Principal Secretary (Health) Anil Kumar Singhal told a press conference that the government has decided to once again undertake a communications campaign on the need for following Covid-Appropriate Behaviour despite the downtrend in coronavirus cases.
"From Monday, the COVID-19 curfew hours will be relaxed, but there will be a strict enforcement to ensure people do not show any slackness in wearing masks, maintaining physical distancing and sanitization," Anil said.
The number of Covid hospitals in the state has now come down to 400 from 625 during the peak period. He said 50 percent of ICU beds and over 65 percent of oxygen beds in COVID-19 hospitals were now vacant due to the significant reduction in the caseload.
The principal secretary said 198 persons so far succumbed to mucormycosis (black fungus) in the state. In all 2,678 black fungus cases were reported so far, of which only 1,419 were active now.
With inputs from PTI