Telangana government has decided to extend the lockdown period till May 29, two weeks beyond the Centre's dead-line, while keeping the earlier restrictions in Hyderabad and other 5 Red Zones in the state.
However, in a major relaxation, the state government has decided to allow liquor sales across the state from Wednesday while raising the retail liquor prices by 15 per cent. The move was necessary to check the illicit distillation and to generate resources for the state exchequer, according to the government.
Chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao on Tuesday night said the council of ministers has resolved to continue the lockdown for two more weeks beyond May 17 deadline in the state as the experts advised that following the social distancing for a period of 70 days will be effective in containing the spread of coronavirus.
Stating that coronavirus was by and large contained in the state through strict measures, chief minister Rao, however said, his government did not want to take any chances with regard to the state capital along with the adjoining Ranga Reddy and Medchal districts where more than 60 percent of coronavirus cases have been registered.
Three more districts, namely, Warangal Urban, Suryapet and Gadwal are also under the Red Zone category while the remaining 27 districts are in orange and green zones.
The government will allow liquor shops, grocery stores, building materials, cement, steel and hardware stores in Red Zones though at least 15 retail liquor stores located in the containment zones in the city will remain closed, according to the chief minister. Irrespective of the zonal categories the night curfew will continue across the state till May 29.
The chief minister said he would hold a review meeting on the status of coronavirus infections on May 15 and lockdown conditions will be relaxed if the coronavirus statistics are satisfactory.