Hyderabad: The Telangana Cabinet on Tuesday (May 11) decided to impose a 10-day lockdown beginning May 12 from 10 am to prevent further spread of COVID-19, with four hours relaxation in the morning. The Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao-led cabinet meeting, which was held at Pragathi Bhavan has decided to give a relaxation period from 6 am to 10 am for the people for their general activities and needs, an official release said. The Cabinet also decided to invite global tenders to procure the COVID-19 vaccines on a war footing, it said.

As soon as the lockdown news came out, tipplers thronged liquor shops to buy enough stocks to last for some time. Serpentine queues were witnessed at many outlets here as social distancing norms allegedly went for a toss.

All liquor shops in the state will remain open from 6 am to 10 am during the lockdown period. “Shop owners should immediately put up boards displaying the information to control the crowd,” said the Minister of Excise department. 

All works related to agriculture produce, allied sectors, works undertaken with agriculture machines, running of rice mills, transport of the paddy and rice, supplying paddy to FCI, fertiliser and seeds shops and manufacturing companies and other agri-based sectors are exempted from the lockdown. “The State Cabinet will meet again on May 20, would review the situation on the continuing of the lockdown and take a decision accordingly,” the release said.

Transportation on National Highways will be allowed while petrol pumps would be allowed to operate.

Telangana has over sixty thousand active COVID-19 cases and the number is increasing with additional infections daily. Employees of pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, pharma distributors and pharmacies, all types of medical and health services, government and private hospitals, would be given special passes and are allowed with their vehicles.

The Cabinet also decided to constitute Committees with Ministers as Chairman in all the districts, along with the Collector, District Medical and Health Officers, Drug Inspectors to conduct daily review at the respective district headquarters on the pandemic. Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar will make sure that required medicines, oxygen and injections like Remdesivir are available for hospitals including private ones.

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