Maharashtra sees 6,600 new Covid cases amid plan to ease lockdown curbs
Maharashtra saw 231 casualties. Satara reported the highest toll with 40 deaths, followed by Aurangabad with 30 fatalities. The district recorded 29 deaths and one death was reported in the city.
As the Maharashtra government plans to lift curbs in 25 districts, the state on Friday recorded 6,600 fresh infections, pushing the count to 6,269,756. The easing of lockdown restrictions is likely to come into effect from August 1, officials said. The tally of active cases has also reduced to 77,494 as 7,431 recoveries were reported in the past 24 hours.
The state saw 231 casualties. Satara reported the highest toll with 40 deaths, followed by Aurangabad with 30 fatalities. The district recorded 29 deaths and one death was reported in the city.
The state has planned to ease the lockdown restrictions in 25 districts where growth and positivity rates are lower than the state’s average. It is looking to reopen malls, multiplexes and restaurants with 50% capacity, while shops and establishments are likely to get extended hours of operation. The government is also looking at opening up trains for more categories. Also, it is facing a practical challenge of checking commuters’ vaccination certificates. An order for partial lifting of the curbs is likely to be issued on Saturday.
Currently, the state has level-three restrictions, which involves tighter curbs with limited operational hours for shops and markets. Shops and bazaars remain shut on the weekends, while malls, theatres and multiplexes are completely closed.
Even as 25 districts are likely to get relaxations, 11 districts — Pune, Solapur, Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Raigad, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Palghar, Beed and Ahmednagar — will continue to remain in level three. On Friday, these 11 districts reported 5,273 cases, over 80% of the total cases (6,600 cases) recorded. The highest number of cases was reported in Pune (922), followed by Ahmednagar at 851 cases, Satara at 830, Sangli at 784, Kolhapur at 679, Solapur at 419, Ratnagiri at 215, Raigad at 185, Beed at 185, Sindhudurg at 174 and Palghar at 29 cases.
State health minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said, “We are not providing any relaxation in Pune, Solapur, Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, Raigad, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, Palghar, Beed and Ahmednagar. If need be, the local administration can tighten the restrictions.”
Dr Wiqar Shaikh, professor of medicine, Grant Medical College and Sir JJ Hospital, said easing of lockdown is inevitable. “We cannot be in a state of permanent lockdown as the economy is currently a shambles. We need to open up for ensuring livelihood,” said Shaikh. He also said that the state government needs to strictly enforce Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
On Friday, Mumbai clocked 322 cases and reported a total 733,434 cases till date. It also recorded seven fatalities, taking the toll to 15,880. In the past 24 hours, the state tested 200,924 samples and had a positivity rate of 3.28%. However, the overall positivity rate of the state stood at 13.18%, according to the data issued by the state health department. It has also vaccinated 668,617 doses on Friday, according to the data available on Co-Win portal. It has administered 43,751,060 doses in the state till date.