Bihar CM Nitish Kumar
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar
File Photo

The Bihar government on Monday decided to extend the COVID-19-induced lockdown in the state till June 1.

An announcement to this effect was made by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on his official Twitter handle. "The lockdown has had a good impact and there has been a decline in the corona contagion. Hence, a decision has been taken to continue with the lockdown till June 01", CM Nitish Kumar tweeted after chairing a high-level meeting convened to review the pandemic situation in the state, which was attended by members of his cabinet and top officials.

Lockdown was first clamped with effect from May 5, till May 10, after the state was rattled by an unprecedented spurt in COVID 19 cases and fatalities.

It was subsequently extended till May 25. The restrictions include suspension of almost all business activities. Shops dealing in essential items have been allowed to do business for four hours FROM 6 am to 10 am in the morning.

Strict measures are being taken, including police crackdown, to prevent people from flouting the rules and those found to be flagrantly violating these are being booked under the Disaster Management Act and the Epidemics Act.

Meanwhile, the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar has advised its ministers not to make rounds of their constituencies in violation of the restrictions in place during the lockdown, clamped earlier this month to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

A notification to this effect was passed by the cabinet secretariat department on Sunday which noted with concern "reported instances of ministers touring their constituencies or districts under their charge (prabhaar)" for reviewing the progress of development works etc.

"Such acts by honourable ministers will send a wrong message to the common people who might become disinclined to scrupulously adhere to the restrictions in place during the lockdown. These restrictions have been in place to control the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic which has gripped the state," the notification said.

"It is therefore requested that the honourable ministers avoid tours of their areas for reviews and inspections. If required, they may opt for video conferencing," the communication added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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