Maharashtra prepares 5-level unlock plan: Thane in level 1, Mumbai 2, No change in local train rules
Maharashtra 5-level unlocking: Maharashtra districts, categorised in five levels depending on the case positivity rate, hospital occupancy etc., will unlock gradually.
The Maharashtra government on Thursday announced a five-level unlocking plan in which the reopening process will begin in the state the order for which is yet to be issued. The extent of unlocking will vary from district to district ranging from level 1 to level 5 — level 1 being the one allowing maximum relaxations. The five-level unlocking plan has been prepared taking into account the Covid-19 positivity rate, the medical infrastructure of the districts, officials said. While 18 districts with less than five per cent Covid positivity rate, including Thane, fall in level one, Mumbai is in level two. These 18 districts are likely to see a complete unlocking from June 4.
"We have prepared a 5-level unlock plan for the state on the basis of positivity rate and status of occupancy of oxygen beds in the districts. Districts with the lowest positivity rate will have no restrictions," Maharashtra minister Vijay Wadettiwar said.
After the minister's announcement, the Maharashtra government clarified that a proposal to categorise the districts and cities based on positivity rate and occupancy rate of oxygen beds is being considered.
The lists of the districts falling under these five levels will be reviewed every week for further amendment — the districts can move up and down based on their Covid-19 numbers.
Level 1 districts will be allowed to unlock almost completely with restaurants, malls, shops and public places reopening. Offices, gyms will also be allowed to resume operations. Aurangabad, Bhandara, Buldhana, Chandrapur, Dhule, Gadchiroli, Gondia, Jalgaon, Jalna, Latur, Nagpur, Nanded, Nashik, Yavatmal, Washim, Wardha, Parbhani and Thane fall under the tentative list of level 1 districts.
Level 2 districts will reopen partially with gyms, salons, beauty parlours functioning at 50 per cent occupancy. But Section 144 will remain imposed in districts falling under level 2.
Districts falling under level 3,4 and 5 will see a limited to no lifting of restrictions.
The lockdown-like restrictions across Maharashtra were imposed in April during the peak of the second wave of the pandemic.
Owing to these restrictions, the Covid-19 situation of the state — the worst-affected in both the first and the second wave of the pandemic — became stable in the past few weeks.
Thane, for example, recorded 568 new cases on Wednesday, taking the total infection count to 5,18,831. Mumbai on Wednesday reported less than 1,000 fresh Covid-19 infections, while Maharashtra's daily tally has dropped to around 15,000.