Mumbai: Maharashtra has been hit hard by Covid and it continues to report cases more than any other states. But despite that, Maharashtra has decided on a 5-level unlock strategy as the Covid numbers in the state gradually decline.
The administration has decided the levels on basis of positivity rate and total oxygen beds occupancy — and will range from areas from where lockdown has totally been lifted and those that will still have strict measures implemented.
Maharashtra Relief and Rehabilitation minister Vijay Waddettiwar said this afternoon It has been decided to completely lift lockdown in districts categorised as Level 1. There are as many as 18 districts in the first level including Thane. Level 5 has been dubbed the Red Zone, which will continue to be under complete lockdown.
Country’s financial capital Mumbai — which got the situation under control quickly during the second wave of the coronavirus — is on Level 2. However, the lifeline of the city, local train service will remain closed for now.
These restrictions will be in place till June 15. The government though eased some of the conditions on Sunday, permitting the essential items’ shops to stay open till 2 pm instead of current 11 am.
This is applicable to only districts having less than 10 per cent Covid positivity rate and less than 40 per cent occupancy of oxygen beds, said the government.
The delivery of non-essential items via e-commerce, which was on freeze, has now been allowed.
Instead of going for full lockdown like 2020, Maharashtra implemented rigorous restrictions on April 5.
A night curfew and weekend lockdown were announced by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray earlier.
Meanwhile, with Covid cases dwindling, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee agreed to allow restaurants operate in the state on Thursday to operate between 5 pm and 8 pm. However, all staff need to be vaccinated and the restaurants must follow Covid protocol, the CM said.
“We don’t want hotels to stay shut,” the chief minister said while interacting with various industry body representatives at a special meeting conducted at Nabanna to discuss ways to promote business during the pandemic.
“We are not in favour of shutting down business. But at the same time, we must try and control the disease so that we don’t have to face another wave,” Mamata said while stressing the need to focus on food delivery.
West Bengal government had last week extended its Covid lockdown till June 15.