On the evening of 24 March 2020, the Government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, limiting movement of the entire 1.38 billion (138 crore) population of India as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 pandemic in India.[1] It was ordered after a 14-hour voluntary public curfew on 22 March, followed by enforcement of a series of regulations in the country's COVID-19 affected regions.[2][3] The lockdown was placed when the number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases in India was approximately 500.[1] Upon its announcement, a mass movement people across the country was described as the largest since the partition of India in 1947.[4] Observers stated that the lockdown had slowed the growth rate of the pandemic by 6 April to a rate of doubling every six days,[5] and by 18 April, to a rate of doubling every eight days.[6] As the end of the first lockdown period approached, state governments and other advisory committees recommended extending the lockdown.[7] The governments of Odisha and Punjab extended the state lockdowns to 1 May.[8] Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal and Telangana followed suit.[9][10] On 14 April, Prime minister Narendra Modi extended the nationwide lockdown until 3 May, with a conditional relaxations after 20 April for the regions where the spread had been contained or was minimal.[11]

On 1 May, the Government of India extended the nationwide lockdown further by two weeks until 17 May. The Government divided all the districts into three zones based on the spread of the virus—green, red, and orange—with relaxations applied accordingly.[12] On 17 May, the lockdown was further extended till 31 May by the National Disaster Management Authority.[13]

On 30 May, it was announced that lockdown restrictions were to be lifted from then onwards, while the ongoing lockdown would be further extended till 30 June for only the containment zones. Services would be resumed in a phased manner starting from 8 June. It was termed as "Unlock 1.0".[14] Modi later clarified that the lockdown phase in the country was over and that 'unlock' had already begun.[15]

The second phase of unlock, Unlock 2.0, was announced for the period of 1 to 31 July, with more ease in restrictions.[16] Unlock 3.0 was announced for August.[17] Similarly, Unlock 4.0 was announced for September[18] and Unlock 5.0 for the month of October.[19] In the same way, Unlock 6.0 was announced for the month of November,[20] Unlock 7.0 was announced for the month of December.[21] Due to the second wave of infection in the country, several state governments like Uttar Pradesh[22] and Delhi[23] have announced partial lockdowns in April 2021.



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