India’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to extend the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak by another two weeks starting 4 May, MHA said in a statement last week.
This is the second time that the government has extended the lockdown, which began on 25 March. However, the government moved to ease restrictions in some areas in the latest lockdown extension with the aim to reviving the country's struggling economy.
Under the new order, districts across the country will be designated as red, orange, and green zones, with red zones continuing remaining under stringent lockdown. Significant relaxations will be permitted in orange and green zone areas but inter-state transport via trains, flights, and roads will remain prohibited. The ministry stated that states and union territories will not stop the movement of cargo for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighboring countries.
Industrial establishments in urban areas, including special economic zones, export-oriented units, and manufacturing units for essential goods, will be allowed to resume operation. Private offices and government departments will operate with up to 33 percent capacity. Industrial activities in rural areas will be permitted too.
On 10 April, the MHA already issued an addendum to its consolidated guidelines dated 24 March, announcing the lifting of restrictions for the fishing and aquaculture industry.
“Things are getting better for businesses day-by-day. [Shrimp] prices are coming up after hitting an all-time low for almost all counts. Many processing plants have back-orders to ship containers and are looking for effective custom-clearance systems,” Naeem Banglawala, a shrimp farmer who operates an organic shrimp farms on 100 hectares in Gujarat state, and director of a company supplying raw material to processors and exporters, told SeafoodSource on 1 May.
He said the local seafood sector is learning to adapt to the new business environment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of 4 May, India had nearly 43,000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19, with almost 1,400 deaths, according to The Economic Times.
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