The countrywide lockdown, which enters its fourth phase from tomorrow, is likely to see a lot of relaxations, especially in terms of public transport, sources indicate. With a limited number of passenger trains running since last week, it is the aviation sector and road transport, including metro services, which are expected to get some relaxation now.
The guidelines will be announced this evening for the phase, which is expected to last for two more weeks, until May 31.
While announcing the extensions last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said it would come in a "completely different form", with new rules.
"Corona will be with us for a long time but our lives cannot revolve around it. We will wear masks, we will follow doh gaj doori (six-foot distance), but we won't let it derail our targets," he stressed.
He had also asked states to submit their blueprints for the lockdown and its gradual removal --a move that set off speculation about a step forward in starting of economic activities.
Sources indicate that it is likely that the government will allow partial opening of malls and shopping centres, which could be on an odd-even basis.
Standalone shops have been operating for more than two weeks, a step forward compared to the shops selling essential commodities were allowed during the first phase of the lockdown.
It is also likely that metro travel will be allowed now, subject to strict rules of social distancing.
Construction activity is likely to fully resume in cities -- except in containment zones.
The phase 4 of lockdown comes as the country crossed the 90,000-mark in coronavirus cases, recording the biggest single-day jump of 4,987 new patients, bringing the total to 90,927. The figure includes 2,872 patients who died and more than 34,000 patients who recovered.
Four states - Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat - which have recorded the highest number of cases in India also reported the biggest surge in COVID-19 count in the last 24 hours.