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With lockdown eased, T'gana starts returning to normalcy; 42 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday

Press Trust of India  |  Hyderabad 

: With easing of restrictions after about two months of lockdown, Telangana on Tuesday began returning to normalcy, with resumption of state-run transport bus services,except city buses here and opening of shops, even as four deaths and 42 COVID-19 cases were reported.

Vehicular movement in the city saw a rise with government and private offices functioning with full attendance as employees reached workplaces by different modes of transport.

A large number of vehicles, including auto-rickshaws and cabs, were seen plying in the city, and also in other towns across the state which witnessed deserted roads since March last week due to the COVID-19-induced lockdown.

The state-run Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) on Tuesday resumed services across the state, barring city buses in Hyderabad and inter-state, which had been suspended since the lockdown was announced.

Shops that were shut opened in the state except in Hyderabad, where they were permitted to open on odd-even pattern on corresponding alternate days, officials said.

On Monday, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, while announcing extension of lockdown in the state from May 29 to 31, had announced several relaxations, including resumption of public transport with conditions and opening of all shops in the state except in Hyderabad.

In view of the high number of COVID-19 cases from Hyderabad, city bus services have not resumed, officials said.

According to TSRTC officials, intra-state (within the state) bus service began from Tuesday 6 am and around 6,000 buses (of the over 9,000 buses TSRTC has) were being operated excluding city buses in Hyderabad and inter-state buses.

"We have restored our operations in district areas except Hyderabad. In districts we are operating inter-district and intra-district," Executive Director (Operations) E Yadagiri told PTI.

The officials said inter-district bus services to Hyderabad were terminated in peripheral areas of the city and no buses were allowed to the central bus station.

All precautions and COVID-19 rules were being followed while operating the buses including ensuring social distancing, sanitising and disinfecting the buses.

Meanwhile, shops also opened across the state, though the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) officials said shops in the city will be permitted to open with on odd-even pattern on corresponding alternate days.

Further, shops in containment zones will continue to be closed, they said.

All Zonal Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners were directed to enforce this guidelines from Tuesday strictly besides ensuring compulsory wearing of masks for those working in the shops and customers.

"A policy of "No mask -No goods/No service" must be followed. Any violation will be penalised with a fine of Rs 1,000," officials said.

Shopkeepers were seen cleaning their shops and arranging their wares.

M Mallareddy, who runs an electrical shop in the city and opened his shop, expressed happiness and hoped business would pick up soon.

Meanwhile, the number of positive cases in the state surged to 1634, with 42 fresh cases being reported.

The number of deaths rose to 38 after four people who had existing medical issues like pneumonia, succumbed to the virus.

The number of people undergoing treatment in hospitals as on date stood at 585, whereas those cured/discharged till date was 1011, a health department bulletin said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 19 2020. 23:38 IST