Unlock 4.0 Guidelines: Metro services, suspended since March 22 in wake of the coronavirus outbreak, will be allowed to operate from September 7, according to the guidelines issued by the Centre Saturday on the fourth phase of ‘Unlock’. The Ministry of Home Affairs released the set of guidelines for ‘Unlock 4’ to be followed till September 30.
Metro services will be operated in a graded manner, with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to be issued by the health ministry. Apart from the resumption of Metro services, public gatherings including social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural and religious will be permitted from September 21 with a ceiling of 100 persons.
Mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitisers will be required to hold such gatherings. Besides, open air theatres will also be permitted to open from September 21.
Here is what we know so far:
Delhi NCR Metro services:
- Delhi Metro services could resume operations in the national capital in a phased manner, with strict precautions. The authorities will put in measures to ensure social distancing inside the coaches as well as on the platforms and regular sanitization will be done.
- It is being reported that Metro authorities will also use automatic thermal cameras to read passenger’s body temperature and even air conditioning will be fixed at a moderate temperature, like 26-degrees.
- The authorities will have to increase the frequency of trains to ensure that social distancing can be effectively maintained. Initially, the services will most likely be available for frontline workers and those involved in essential services only.
- Passengers using the Delhi Metro, post resumption of operations, will have to take out any metallic item on their body before frisking, use face masks, have the ‘Aarogya Setu’ app, but those with flu-like symptoms won’t be allowed, as per a proposal prepared by the CISF on April 23.
Reopening of Schools and Colleges:
The educational institutes have been shut since March 3, which has adversely affected studies. The government had directed all the schools and colleges to start online classes, however, it couldn’t prove to be effective due to lack of proper arrangements and uneven availability of smartphones, especially in the marginalised areas. The parents also have objected no concession in tuition fee.
- While the Centre is preparing the Unlock 4 guidelines and will soon take a decision on resumption of schools, the final decision will remain with the respective state governments.
- As per the sources, schools and colleges will continue to remain closed but the government is considering reopening institutes like IITs and IIMs.
How will schools function?
- According to the reports, for the first 15 days, students of Class 10 to 12 would be asked to attend school. Different sections of a class would attend schools on particular days.
- All schools will likely function in shifts from 8 AM-11 AM and 12 PM-3 PM and run on 33 percent capacity of teaching staff and students.