Covid in Maharashtra: Stricter curbs from Monday

Published on Jun 27, 2021 11:43 PM IST

The Maharashtra government had on Friday decided to reduce the five-level relaxation plan (based on positivity rate and bed occupancy) to three

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By, Mumbai

With Maharashtra now adopting level three as the base limit in terms of Covid-19 restrictions, many districts that had started relaxing lockdown restrictions would now roll them back and impose further curbs from Monday, amid reports of the more transmissible Delta Plus variant across the state. The state fears the strain could become more severe in case of a third wave. The Maharashtra government had on Friday decided to reduce the five-level relaxation plan (based on positivity rate and bed occupancy) to three. The first two levels, which had maximum relaxations, were removed till further order.

Mumbai would continue to follow the same ongoing restrictions (level three), despite its low positivity and bed occupancy rate, so as to avoid any spurt in Covid-19 cases. The state on Sunday reported 9,974 Covid-19 cases, including 739 in Mumbai, taking the tally to 6,036,821, while the toll stands at 121,286.

State surveillance officer Dr Pradeep Awate described the rolling back of relaxations a preventive step. “We are at the descending stage of the second wave and hence do not want to take any chances. Both the Central government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have advised us to take preventive steps in view of the mutation and we are adhering to them,” he added. This means that in places like Thane, Navi Mumbai and Pune where malls had opened will be shut and shops being allowed to function under regular timings will have to adhere to the 4pm limit.

The Chamber of Association of Maharashtra Industries and Trade (CAMIT), which represents the manufacturing and retail traders, has slammed the step. “Our business has fallen by over 60% and we are not able to sustain in such a restrictive environment. There is no logic in not opening malls and imposing restrictive timings on shopkeepers as we take all necessary precautions to contain the spread of the virus,” said Mitesh Mody, secretary, CAMIT.

Mumbai on Sunday recorded 13 deaths, with its toll reaching 15,396. There were 210,866 tests done on Sunday, while the number of recoveries clocked 8,562. The total number of active patients in Maharashtra currently stands at 122,252.

Dr Wiqar Shaikh, professor of medicine, Grant Medical College and Sir JJ Hospital, said the mutant variant is more lethal than the original one. “This Delta Plus variant is worse and can cause more devastation as it means more virulency as well as hospitalisation of patients,” said Dr Shaikh. “Citizens need to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and even the government needs to strictly enforce punitive actions if it wants to rein in this virus,” said Shaikh.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Naresh is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Mumbai, since 2005. He covers the real estate sector, in addition to doing political reportage.

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