As the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic rages across India, the citizens wonder if the country is headed towards a re-imposition of the COVID-19-necessitated lockdown.
Even as President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday expressed optimism that the international community was very close to finding a solution to the coronavirus pandemic and will emerge stronger and more resilient from the crisis, cities across India have over the past few days witnessed a re-imposition of curfews and/or closure of public service facilities.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday announced that schools in the city will remain closed till December 31, a change from the earlier decision to reopen them from November 23, as the metropolis witnesses an upward trend in COVID-19 cases.
The local authorities in Maharashtra will take a decision on reopening schools in their respective areas after assessing the coronavirus situation there, state School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad said on Friday.
As Ahmedabad city prepares for a 57-hour-long curfew following a spike in cases, the Gujarat government on Friday ruled out a fresh statewide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
It has been reported that the central government is contemplating sending high-level teams to states and UTs reporting rise in COVID-19 cases.
Amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the national capital Delhi, a door-to-door survey for identifying and testing people symptomatic for COVID-19 in containment and densely packed areas of New Delhi commenced on Friday. The gradual reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate is a "clear indicator" that the spread of the virus is decreasing in the national capital, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on this day.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has set up several makeshift ghats in water bodies across the city for members of the Bihari community to perform the Chhath Puja ritual.
Rajasthan reported 15 more COVID-19 fatalities, taking the death toll to 2,116, while 2,549 new cases pushed the state's infection tally to 2,34,907. It was reported that Section 144 (curfew) is to be reimposed in Rajasthan from Saturday as the coronavirus cases spiked in the state.
The winter session of the Odisha assembly began on Friday amid strict adherence to the COVID-19 guidelines and was adjourned for half-a-day after obituary references to former members, and frontline worker who lost their lives fighting the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 caseload in India has breached the 90-lakh mark, Union Health Ministry data says.
(With inputs from PTI)