On 25 th March 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we know, the third stage of lockdown has come to an end today 18th May, The Prime Minister announced the fourth stage of Lockdown 4.0 but with new set of rules and guidelines to be followed throughout the country. As PM mentioned in one of his recent speech that Corona virus will be part of our lives for a very long time, “but we can’t let our lives remain confined around corona”, we shall wear masks and continue social distancing and not letting it hamper us. The Central government on Sunday released the guidelines for the fourth phase of lockdown guidelines in India on 17 th May.
The latest stage of lockdown guidelines had given more relaxations to states in comparison to other stages of lockdown. The demands and expectations of states on lockdown extension had been mixed- with some demanding the extension while others are in favour of opening up businesses in non-containment zones. Domestic and international flights, metro, railways and even shopping malls, cinema halls, school, colleges, hotels and restaurants, religious and political gatherings will continue to remain prohibited.
Also, the government has allowed inter-state movement of buses and private vehicles with the consent of the other states. All health care services, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes shall remain functional. Medical stores, dispensaries, pharmacies to remain open along with medical laboratories, research labs and institutions carrying our Covid-19 related tests shall remain open. And, Covid-19 has been an huge impact on small scale businesses. According to a survey conducted, a majority of respondents stated that it would have an impact. About 30 percent of respondents felt hat it would decrease demand for their products or services. As India entered the 54th day of the lockdown, the total number of corona virus cases in India surpassed China’s tally with 90,927 infections and death toll soared to 2,872 on Sunday. China, which has a total of 84,649 cases,Mstopped adding new cases for the last two months now, while India has been detecting almost 4,000 cases every day for the last few days.
All together, this has shook the entire world. The virus over the last few weeks has changed the lives of people across the world. People have taken up several new practices from social distancing to use of social media to stay up to date. The change in people's lives and around us is valuable but the question is will we be more inclusive and sensitive once we return to what used to be normal before.