The coronavirus-induced lockdown in Maharashtra has been extended till June 15, however, certain restrictions and relaxations will be enforced depending on the case tally in districts, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday.
Addressing a virtual conference to review the current Covid situation in the state, Thackeray said that even after decline in daily coronavirus cases, current numbers in Maharashtra are near the peak of the previous wave.
The restrictions will be eased in districts where the Covid case positivity rate is less than ten per cent and occupancy of oxygen beds is less than 40 per cent. On the other hand, more curbs will be imposed in districts where cases are rising.
A fresh set of guidelines has been released by the government for the lockdown which has been extended for another 15 days. Under which, all essential shops that are currently allowed to operate between 7-11 am may be allowed to operate between 7 am to 2 pm.
The decision regarding the allowing of all non-essential shops i.e stand-alone shops and not inside shopping centers/malls along with the time limit for the functioning may be taken by respective Disaster Management authorities.
The delivery of non-essential items along with essential items through e-commerce may be allowed in such districts. After 3 pm, restriction on movement will be imposed except for medical and other emergencies, or for home deliveries.
As per new directions, all govt offices, except those involved directly for corona work in the said districts can function with 25% attendance. The agriculture sector related shops may remain open till 2pm on weekdays.
Thackeray requested people to have patience, he said, Many are threatening to agitate if opening up is not announced. I want to request you to have patience. We have not imposed a very strict lockdown. I am not enjoying keeping these restrictions. But it is the need of the hour.
The oxygen generation capacity in the state was increased from 12,500 MT to 13,000 MT, but still, the daily requirement went up to 17,000 MT, the chief minister said. Regarding Covid-19 vaccination, he said that the government will accelerate the vaccination process for people in the age group of 18-44 years once they receive vaccines.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra has reported 18,600 coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the tally of infections to 57,31,815, while the death toll increased to 94,844 with 402 new fatalities in the state.