The Himachal Pradesh government has made provisions to extend the lockdown in parts of the state for another five weeks. An order from the BJP government led by Jai Ram Thakur, allowed all districts to extend the lockdown till June 30 if needed. The final call belongs to the district administration. For now, it stands extended in Hamirpur and Solan.
The hill state has so far recorded 214 cases of coronavirus, of which 63 patients recovered and five died. The district of Hamirpur has over one-fourth of the total cases in Himachal Pradesh. While Hamirpur has reported 63 cases so far, Solan has 21.
The state's move comes as the rest of the country eased lockdown restrictions and the Centre re-started air travel. So far, only Maharashtra -- which has the highest number of cases in the country -- has spoken of extending the lockdown.
The deadline for the fourth phase of the lockdown is May 31. The government has extended it thrice since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the countrywide lockdown on March 25.
In April, the Chief Minister had supported the extension of the lockdown. He had made his views known during to the Prime Minister during his video call with the Chief Ministers.
But he had also supported the re-opening of economic activities in the state, especially in the green zones, which has none or minimum cases of coronavirus.
The state has implemented a programme for aggressive testing of influenza like diseases, which leave its patients vulnerable to the coronavirus.
The Active Case Finding or ACF campaign -- which helped screen the entire population of the state for any influenza like illness (ILI) symptoms -- was even lauded by PM Modi.
The state had also tested all ILI patients for coronavirus, pressing in a huge team of 16,000 officials and healthcare workers for a door-to-door campaign.