Maharashtra to lift nearly all Covid-19 restrictions from April 1
Amid a steep decline in Covid-19 cases and revocation of the provisions of the Disaster Management Act by the Centre, the state government is all set to relax the majority of Covid-19 curbs from April 1. Requirements for vaccination and social distancing will be done away with. However, the use of face masks in public places will continue.
The decision to lift the existing restrictions was taken during the meeting of the State Executive Committee. Though the SEC has decided to lift nearly all curbs as per directions from the central government, a final decision will be taken by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray after due deliberation with the state-appointed task force and other officials.
The state has presently mandated double dose vaccination for those seeking to enter establishments, including malls and theatres, and travel by public transport.
Stricter curbs have been imposed for districts that do not meet the criteria fixed for the relaxations based on the vaccination percentage and positivity rate. Restrictions in such places include curbs on political, social and religious gatherings; a 50% occupancy cap on malls, theatres, shopping complexes, restaurants among others.
“Lifting of curbs will mean all the activities will take place like pre-Covid-19 situation. There will be no restrictions on non-vaccinated citizens using public transport or people attending weddings, political and social functions,” an official from Mantralaya said.
Another senior state government official, who attended the SEC meeting, said, “The central government has asked us to end Covid-19 restrictions and this was discussed at length. We will do away with the restrictions like vaccine requirements for people using public transport or going to theatres.”
He said that official notification will be issued in a day or two.
“Even under the Epidemic Diseases Act, we have enough power to impose curbs. An advisory will be issued for use of masks and vaccines under the act. Besides, the caps on prices of drugs and sanitiser will remain in place under the Act,” he added.
In a notification dated March 2, the state had relaxed the majority of restrictions in 14 districts across Maharashtra from March 4. The relaxations were based on vaccination, positivity rate as well as bed occupancy.
The circular outlined that all shopping centres, cinema halls, restaurants and bars, sports complexes, gyms and spas, swimming pools, religious places, tourist places, entertainment parks can operate at 100% capacity. A new circular will extend these relaxations across the 22 remaining districts.
Welcoming the move, Dr Ishwar Gilada, secretary-general, Organised Medicine Academic Guild, said, “We have become immune to the virus as many have developed antibodies by contacting Covid-19 and even our vaccination figures are very impressive.”
Meanwhile, Maharashtra recorded 103 Covid-19 cases with zero deaths. The total number of Covid-19 cases has mounted to 78,73,722
Mumbai on Tuesday reported 36 covid-19 cases and zero deaths taking the tally to 1,056,993, while the death toll stands at 19,559. The case fatality rate at present is 1.8%.
Currently, the state has 960 active patients with Mumbai topping the list at 300, followed by Pune and Thane with 237 and 167 patients, respectively.
The death toll has now reached 1,47,780 with Pune leading with 20,516 deaths, followed by Mumbai with 19,559 and Thane with 11,905.
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