MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Sunday extended the lockdown-like curbs till June 15 and also announcedthat relaxations will be granted depending upon the COVID-19 positivity rate and availability of oxygen beds.
In municipal corporations or regions of districts with less than 10 per cent COVID-19 positivity rate and where the availability of occupied oxygen beds will be less than 40 per cent, all the establishments/shops engaged in essential commodities and services that are presently opened from 7 am to 11 am can now remain open from 7 am to 2 pm, the government said in an order.
For districts and corporations having more than a 20 per cent positivity rate and where over 75 per cent of oxygen beds are occupied, the borders of such districts will be closed and no person will be allowed to enter or exit in such districts.
The exceptions will be death from a family, medical reason and emergency services or services related to such situations.
Instead of implementing the ‘Break the chain’ order uniformly in the state, the restrictions will now be relaxed or made more stringent till 7 amof June 15 by taking into account the positivity rate in the municipality jurisdiction and areas of districts, and the availability of oxygen beds at various places, the government said.
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As per the census of 2011, the municipal corporations that are having a population of more than 10 lakh will be considered as the independent administrative unit for curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali, Vasai Virar, Pune, PimpriChinchwad, Nagpur, Aurangabad and Nashik corporations will be treated as the administrative units.
Barring the jurisdiction of these corporations, the rest of the part of the district will be counted as a separate administrative unit, it said.
The decision for keeping open all the shops and establishments that do not fall in the essential category will be taken by the local disaster management authority (LDMA) but their timings will be at uniformity with those shops and establishment falling in the essential group, as per the order.
Similarly, the shops will remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
In such regions, along with the essential commodities, the non-essential goods and services can also be distributed through the e-commerce system.
However after 3 pm, except for medical services and medical-related emergency, there will be restrictions on commuting and traffic, it said.
Besides the offices that are working for the pandemic-related services, all other government offices can function with the attendance of 25 per cent of employees.
If the chief of any of these departments needs the attendance of more than 25 per cent, they can take permission from the disaster management authority, the order said.
All the agricultural work and equipment-related shops will be open on the working days till 2 pm.
Considering the monsoon and sowing period, the local disaster management authority can give the permission to increase the timings of such agriculture-related goods and service providers or can also give a nod to remain open on Saturdays and Sundays, the order said.
Addressing the people of the state through social media, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the daily coronavirus case count in the state is on the decline, but these numbers are close to the last year’s peak levels.
Thackeray announced that the lockdown-like restrictions currently in force in the state since mid-April, have been extended by a fortnight till June 15.
He said he was taking a district-wise review of the coronavirus situation and curbs will be made stricter where the numbers are on the rise, while some relaxations will be given where the case count is on the decline.
As of Sunday, Maharashtra’s tally of COVID-19 cases stood at 57,31,815 and the overall death toll is 94,844.
The state has 2,71,801 active cases, as per the state health department.