The Telangana government on Friday extended the night curfew in the state till May 15 and imposed restrictions on gatherings to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar issued a Government Order (GO) extending the night curfew by a week. The curfew will be in force from 9 pm to 5 am the next day. On April 20, the night curfew had been imposed till April 30, and later extended.
As the surge in COVID-19 cases continues in several parts of the state, the government decided to extend the night curfew. The night curfew was extended two days after the Telangana High Court suggested to the government to either impose a weekend lockdown or continue the night curfew. A second government order imposed restrictions on gatherings keeping in view the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases across the state.
All social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, religious and cultural gatherings have been prohibited. As per the orders, no more than 100 persons should attend marriage-related gatherings. The maximum number of persons allowed for last rites is 20. These gatherings should ensure social distancing, wearing of masks and other protocols, it said.
On May 5, hearing a batch of PILs on COVID-19 issues in the state, a Bench of Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy had directed the state government to review the situation in the state before May 8. Following the High Courtâ€™s directions, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar told the media that the pandemic situation in Telangana was under control and that the state was doing much better compared to other states. â€śThere are ample beds, no shortage of medicines nor consumables in the state,â€ť he claimed, adding that the government would examine the courtâ€™s directions and take appropriate decisions on imposing a weekend lockdown.
The state government has already ruled out imposing a full lockdown. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday said no lockdown would be imposed as it brings life to a standstill and also leads to a total collapse of the economy.
He also stated that lockdown does not help in bringing down the number of COVID-19 cases.