NEW DELHI: With economic activities coming to a halt for several weeks due to the nationwide lockdown, there is a thought within the government to zero in on areas with Covid-19 cases for restrictions rather than putting a blanket ban on activities across a district or the larger part of any city, sources said.
TOI has learnt that discussions are on to push economic activities in a big way outside containment zones to tide over the economic losses due to the Covid-19 crisis. Though the government has announced several relaxations to kick-start construction, manufacturing and retail activities, some states have imposed restrictions over large geographical areas to prevent the spread of the virus. Construction activities are yet to pick up due to various reasons, including shortage of labourers.
Sources said the movement of goods has also not picked up in a big way since manufacturing is yet to start on a large scale. The number of e-way bills per day now stands at six lakh as compared to nearly 22 lakh before the lockdown started. However, there has been nearly a 100% rise in their number in the past three weeks – from 3.2 lakh a day to 6 lakh – which is being seen as a positive trend.
“Extending restrictions that impact large areas is not a viable option. Hence, we need to adopt strategies that can deal with Covid-19 cases in a particular location and also pave the way for more economic activities,” said a source. The government has said the country has to live with Covid-19 virus and adoption of safe practices are needed to win over the health crisis.
The third phase of the nationwide lockdown, which began on March 25, ends on May 17.