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As Covid-19 cases surge, lockdown may not be lifted in its totality even after May3

As Covid-19 cases surge, lockdown may not be lifted in its totality even after May3

As May 3—the day the national lockdown ends—approaches, it is unlikely that the lockdown will be lifted in its totality with the surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in India. In short, life may not return to normal from May 3, as was expected earlier.

Sources said that the lockdown could be either lifted with several restrictions in place to ensure that there is no crowding or it would simply continue depending on the districts and states. So essentially cities and districts where the number of Covid-19 cases is either nil or just a handful will be allowed to return to normal sooner than those with high number of cases.

Theatres, malls, and pubs may either remain shut for a few more days or they will be allowed to operate for limited period of time and will be mandated to adhere to a host of new norms. Government sources also said that travel by air may not open before May-end

Several private companies indicated that they will continue with 'work from home' policy for the next few weeks even if the lockdown is lifted. "We will have to continue work for home at least till June end or even July," a senior executive engaged with an American multinational company said on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile the number of Covid-19 cases in India crossed the 20,000 mark, of which Maharashtra alone recorded over 5000 cases.

“Even if shops and other retail spaces open up, we don’t see too many customers coming in immediately, it will take at least two to three months for life to somewhat get back to normal,” Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, Confederation of India Traders (CAIT) told IN.

Besides, many business establishments including offices, retail outfits and shops are also in the middle of a crisis-like situation with many of their workers leaving the cities in the wake of the lockdown.

A report by the State Bank of India estimated the overall loss owing to the national lockdown to be around Rs 12.1 lakh crore. However, if the lockdown continues in some form or the other, then the loss could be even more.

India has been locked down since March 25. While initially the lockdown was imposed for three weeks, it was extended till May 3..