Indian government further relaxes lockdown restrictions, but final decision rests with each state  

New Delhi: In India, the number of deaths due to the Novel Coronavirus, has reached 779, and the total number of cases has crossed 25,000. Although the number of cases in the country is rising, the Home Ministry has decided to relax certain restrictions in the green and orange zones. The ministry allowed reopening of all shops except for shops, markets and malls in hotspots and containment zones, and orders were issued to that effect on Friday night. Nevertheless, the Centre also clarified that the final decision in the matter would be in the hands of the state governments.   

Before this, the government had conditionally allowed the industries, goods transport and shops selling farming equipment and fertilisers. The relief was granted two days ago, also to the shops selling mobile recharge, fans and textbooks. The lockdown rules were relaxed further on Friday.  

Permission has been granted to markets and the shops, along with all registered shops outside the red zones, in the municipal corporation and municipality areas. Shops selling mobile phones, hardware and garments have been permitted to operate, but malls, liquor and cigarette shops are to remain closed. Permission has not been granted to start restaurants and salons. Besides, a ban is still in place on the supply of items other than the essentials, by the e-commerce companies. The Home Ministry clarified that shops could open, with only 50% of the labour force and social distancing would have to be followed meticulously.   

Meanwhile, the final decision lies with the state governments. However, some of the state governments have not decided on the matter. The Maharashtra and Punjab governments have informed that the decision would be made only after due considerations. 

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