Certain kinds of shops opened on Saturday across India, after the Home Ministry relaxed its norms after a month-long lockdown. However, the exemption is not applicable for shops in single-brand and multi-brand malls outside the limits of municipal corporations, or shops in hotspots/containment zones.
However, it is mandatory for all shops being granted permission to open with 50 percent iof their workforce, ensure the compulsory wearing of masks and strict adherence of social distancing norms.
During the lockdown period, only shops selling milk, vegetable, medicine and other daily essentials were allowed to remain open.
People were seen thronging into shops in the national capital, western Mumbai and southern Chennai after they opened on Saturday morning. In Chennai however, a complete lockdown would be imposed from 26-29 April from 0600 Hrs to 2100 Hrs IST, as announced by the state Chief Edappadi Palaniswami.
Delhi: Hardware shops in Laxmi Nagar open after about a month into #CoronaLockdown. All shops registered under Shops&Establishment Act of respective States/UTs, incl shops in residential complexes, neighborhood&standalone shops have now been exempted from lockdown restrictions. pic.twitter.com/w8CLjREB2l— ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2020
Mumbai: Customers throng grocery stores in Kurla area to make purchases. MHA has exempted all shops under Shops&Establishment Act of States/UTs,except shops in multi-brand&single-brand malls,outside limits of Municipal Corporations from revised consolidated lockdown restrictions. pic.twitter.com/vufYsWJ42c— ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2020
Tamil Nadu: People queue at a market in Chennai to buy essentials. Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami has announced a complete lockdown in the city from April 26 to April 29 from 6 AM & 9 PM. #CoronaLockdown pic.twitter.com/qPpNBOyZWx— ANI (@ANI) April 25, 2020
The lockdown was imposed on 25 March in a bid to restrict the spread of Coronavirus in the country, initially for a period of 21 days, which was extended by another 19 days. As of now, the lockdown is scheduled to be lifted on 3 May.
Ever since Coronavirus or COVID-19 hit the country on 30 January, the caseload has snowballed to reach 24,506 on Saturday, according to the federal Health and Family Welfare Ministry. This includes 5,063 people cured and discharged as well as 775 people who had succumbed to the infection.
Maharashtra is the worst-affected among India's states in terms of the number of positive cases – 6,817 with 301 deaths, followed by Gujarat (2,815 with 127 deaths) and the nation's capital Delhi (2,514 positive cases and 53 deaths).