Maharashtra imposes stricter norms after cases of Delta plus variant emerge

The decision has been taken considering emerging cases of Delta plus variant in the state, officials said.
File photo: Healthcare worker in PPE kit taking a break between the duty at Thane Civil Hospital, Maharashtra. (HT PHOTO)
File photo: Healthcare worker in PPE kit taking a break between the duty at Thane Civil Hospital, Maharashtra. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jun 25, 2021 04:41 PM IST
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The Maharashtra government has decided to impose stricter norms by reducing the five-level relaxation plan to three. The first two levels having maximum relaxations have been removed till further order, according to a notification issued by chief secretary Sitaram Kunte on Friday.

“Given that the virus causing Covid019 is undergoing mutations in various geographies, and that these mutations are displaying more transmissibility and potential reductions in monoclonal antibody response, a state-level trigger mandating all the administrative units, irrespective of values of the indices of weekly positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancy percentage, to remain at a level not below 3 is to be in operation till withdrawn by specific order of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA),” the notification issued by Kunte stated.

The decision has been taken considering emerging cases of Delta plus variant in the state, officials said.

The state task force and the ministry of health and family welfare (MOHFW) has directed the state not to let its guard down, following which it was decided to cut down the relaxations, said Aseem Gupta, secretary, relief and rehabilitation department.

Also read: ‘Delta plus’ variant evades vaccines? Experts flag major concerns

There won’t be any changes for Mumbai as the city already comes under the level-3 category of restrictions, the officials said.

“It simply means that of the five-level relaxation plan, we have removed the first two levels having maximum relaxations. It also means all the districts and cities will get maximum relaxations that are provided under the level 3 plan,” Gupta said.

The state has found 21 cases of Delta plus variant covering six districts. Of them, nine cases are in Ratnagiri, seven in Jalgaon, two in Mumbai and one case each in Thane, Palghar and Sindhudurg.

“Before the second wave hit the state, cases started rising in Amravati and then it spread across the state. This time we have decided to be more careful considering the Delta plus variant cases have been found in a few districts. We cannot be at peace when there is a threat of a possible third wave looming large,” the relief and rehabilitation secretary said.

What is level 3

The districts or municipal corporations with a weekly positivity rate of between 5-10% or oxygen bed occupancy over 40% will be classified under level 3.

In this category, shops selling essentials can stay open till 4 pm on all days and those selling non-essentials are allowed to operate only on weekdays. Malls and theatres will remain shut. Section 144 will be applicable and not more than five people can gather at a public place while movements post 5 pm should be minimal. Public transport will be allowed without standees. Gyms, saloons will be open only till 4 pm, with appointments and air-conditioners will not be allowed to run inside the premises.

Restaurants can stay open till 4 pm only on weekdays, afterwards, only takeaways will be allowed. Sports activities will be allowed only between 5 am to 9 am for morning walks and 9 am-9 pm for outdoors. Construction activities will be allowed with 50% staff. Private offices can stay open till 4 pm on weekdays with 50% attendance.

Local trains can be used by essential and medical workers and women only. Parks and gardens can open from 5 am to 9 am every day. Weddings are allowed with maximum 50 people, cultural activities allowed at 50% capacity. Manufacturing of essential goods is allowed at 100% capacity, manufacturing units engaged in non-essential goods can work with 50% capacity and a dedicated transport facility for its employees.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022