Covid-19 lockdown will not be completely lifted in Maharashtra: Health minister
Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said on Thursday that the lockdown-like restrictions imposed in the state will not be lifted completely as 21 districts have over 10% Covid-19 positivity rate. Tope, however, added that relaxation might be given to those districts where cases are going down and guidelines in this regard will be issued in a few days. The current restrictions are in place till June 1.
“It was decided in the cabinet today that it is not right to remove the lockdown-like restrictions completely. We will allow relaxation in those districts where cases are very less. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray will take a final decision on how these relaxations will be allowed after holding a discussion with the Covid-19 task force,” Tope told reporters, as quoted by news agency ANI.
The restrictions, imposed in mid-April this year, banned movement of people, vehicles, opening of shops selling non-essential items along with movie theatres, gyms, swimming pools, educational institutions etc. Maharashtra during this time was clocking nearly 70,000 cases of the coronavirus disease daily and was the worst affected state across India. On April 22, another set of restrictions were introduced on inter-city and inter-district travel, office attendance, and weddings.
According to experts and ministers in the Maharashtra government, the daily cases and deaths have dropped significantly in the majority of the districts including the state capital Mumbai as these curbs were successful in arresting the spread of Covid-19. On Wednesday, the state reported 24,752 new cases, 453 more deaths and 23,065 recoveries. The daily cases in Maharashtra have been below the 30,000-mark for the last one week.
Two days back, the state government stopped home isolation for Covid-19 patients in 18 districts having above-average positivity rates, with health minister Rajesh Tope adding that such patients will be shifted to Covid care centres. Collectors of these 18 districts including Nashik, Pune, Latur, Ahmednagar, have been instructed by the state government to come up with more Covid care centres in their respective areas.