COVID-19: Trump offers three phase plan to lift lockdown; sets up an economic revival task force

US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a three-phase plan to lift the lockdown and also announced the setting up of a task force to revive the economy.

This three-phase plan indicates that the lockdown can only be gradually lifted and may take longer than expected.

In what is being seen as a sign of truce between the governors of the states and the President, the latter announced that the states will take the lead and the Federal government will only assist in the process.

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Trump said:

“You are going to call your own shots. We’re going to be standing alongside of you”.

Earlier the President had said that he was the sole authority to decide the lifting of the lockdown.

According to the plan,

Areas with high number of cases will continue to be under a state of lockdown. However, states which exhibit fewer number of cases will be allowed to lift the lockdown in a three-phased manner.

In the first phase, social distancing norms will have to be followed strictly. Gathering of people beyond 10 will not be permitted and all non-essential travel will be discouraged.

In the second phase, social distancing norms will continue to remain in place and gathering of people beyond 50 will not be permitted. There will be limited travel options available.

In the last phase, social distancing norms will continue to be encouraged. However, there will be no restrictions on gathering of people and economic activities including travel.

All the states will continue testing suspected cases and will continue to isolate positive cases, while encouraging others to lead a normal life.

Seven states have already extended the period of lockdown till May 15.

The unemployment rate in the US, currently stands at 22 million has emerged as cause for concern in the US. The federal government has announced the setting up a task force that will lay a road map for the revival of the economy.

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